“I know what it’s like to have my father killed on national television.”
When two hijacked planes struck the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, the lives of thousands of American children were changed instantly.
As office workers and front line responders were amongst those killed when the attack was carried out in New York City, approximately 3,000 children under 18 were left to deal with the trauma and grief of losing a parent in such horrific circumstances.
Fourteen years on, the children of 9/11 continue to be defined by the tragedy and the attacks that changed their families and their country forever. And when a series of attacks were carried out in Paris two weeks ago, France’s pain was felt across the globe.
French journalist Eléonore Hamelin moved to New York in 2011 and wrote for Vox that following the Paris attacks, she and a friend were approached by a man who wanted to express his condolences for what had happened.
“He said he loved Paris, and then he hugged us,” Hamelin wrote. “That night, the spire on top of the Freedom Tower — constructed after the 9/11 terror attack — was lit up in the colors of the French flag.”
It was these signs of solidarity — symbols of support that could be seen in landmarks across the globe — that inspired Hamelin to ask four children of 9/11 victims to send a message of support to the people of Paris.
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