Clare Mailey (14) and Terry Hardy (18) along with two others from Northern Irelandwere among the group of eleven teens who gathered to share their experiences of terrorism. The teens were brought to New York by One Heart Global a nonprofit group that aims to help the victims of terrorism.
Mailey survived a pipe-bomb attack, in Belfast, when she was just four-year-old. Hardy comes from a long line of victims. His grandfather, an aunt, three uncles and three cousins were all murdered during the political and religious violence in Northern Ireland.
Although there is relative peace in Northern Ireland Hardy still lives “in fear of something happening again” he told the New York Times.
One Heart Global was founded by Sarri Singer, an American, and Jacob Kimchy, an Israel, with the aim of helping victims of terrorism who have physical and psychological scars.
The eleven teens, most strangers to one another, from Northern Ireland, Israel, France, Spain and Liberia have all been scarred by terrorism.
Tricia Magee, from Wave Trauma Center in Belfast, accompanied the group. She said “They carry the trauma, but don’t have the language to express it…If you can’t get the words out, it can become a block, and be disruptive. When you’re young, you think you’re the only one experiencing something like that.” She believes that showing these teens that they are not alone can only be good.
The New York Times described some of their tragic stories. Naor Abutbul’s mother was ambushed in Israel by Palestinian gunmen and killed as she drove to the West Bank. She was murdered on November 9, 2001. Abutbul (17) noted that in most countries November 9 is rendered 9/11. He broke down in front of the Ground Zero memorial to the 9/11 victims in New York.
Quentin Area-darses and Malou Anglade, two 16-year-olds from Paris were on a school trip to Cairo two years ago when they were wounded by pipe bombs which were thrown into a crowded market place.
Alberto Sánchez’s mother, Trinida, was one of the 191 people killed in the commuter train bombing in Madrid in 2004. The 13-year-old has found it difficult to recover.
One of the founders of the nonprofit group, Singer, was on a bus in Jerusalem in 2003 when a suicide bomber dressed as an Orthodox Jew blew himself up. Singer suffered a split clavicle and damage to one ear. Sixteen people on the bus were killed.
Kimchy founded the group to honor his father, Rami Kimchy. He was killed in the
2002 terrorist attack in Rishon LeZiyyon, Israel.
Singer said they felt there was a need for the group as “time doesn’t always heal”. Although a funeral may be held, political leaders are outraged and sympathy is expressed the pain of this kind of trauma can endure.
During their trip the teens visited Ground Zero, met with the Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and also Lee Ielpi, a retired firefighter, whose son, also a firefighter was died on September 11. He was the one of the guiding forces behind the visitor center at ground zero.
He said on 9/11 “nobody died from the terrorist attack….They were murdered.”