As a young girl…desperate for news of my friend while knowing there was no way he could have survived…I sat in front of the TV as a helicopter circled the Irish Sea. I stared, heartbroken, as a piece of plane’s fuselage was dragged from a hook extending to the hovering helicopter above.
The image…one I’ll never shake.
For me…it was the body of my friend now gone.
An act of terrorism, so devastating, that it changed who I was.
I lost my trust in the world the day that Air India Flight 182, was bombed. It killed my friend Vinod, his sister, his mom, his dad, and 325 others.
I touch the outside of the airplane remembering the broken wreckage…and say a prayer to my friend…each and every time I fly.
Last night, the news from Boston filled my Twitter feed as my hands shook…and once again I numbed.
By complete accident, with no intention of seeing the horrid photos, I saw an image that will forever be ingrained in my soul. Much like the fuselage so many years before…carnage…wreckage…pain.
“Don’t look at the pictures” I suddenly yelled to Spider-Man upstairs in his bedroom.
“I have to” he yelled back.
He had to.
He needed to see the same way I did so many years before.
Both of my children asked for updates as the news rolled in. “How many have died,” “how many are injured,” “how many more bombs,” “who could have done this,” and “why?”
Last night…they lost part of their innocence. It changed them.
Each act of terrorism chips away at who we are but we we can’t let it destroy us. We have to see the good in people. We must pray for those we’ve lost. Support those who need us. Hold each other closer.
It’s been almost thirty years since I witnessed my first act of terrorism and in those thirty years…I’ve learned that we can overcome the horrid images. Overcome the loss, the fear and pain. We can see through the anger and grief and live our lives with joy and laughter.
Because Hope…is better than fear. Faith…is stronger than despair. And love…trumps all.