Philadelphia (CNN)She faced her father’s killers in a courtroom, and realized the al Qaeda militants held no power. He put Osama bin Laden’s image on a punching bag and let loose.
September 14, 2016
https://www.tuesdayschildren.org/wp-content/uploads/TC-UPDATED-LOGO.svg 0 0 Sallie Lynch https://www.tuesdayschildren.org/wp-content/uploads/TC-UPDATED-LOGO.svg Sallie Lynch2016-09-14 16:00:212021-06-29 14:09:07Bound by terror: ‘I’ve got you’
She has vivid memories of the years spent with an adoring father. His recollections of Dad are limited.
She grew up in southern France and reaches out to him on September 11. He was raised in New Jersey and made sure she was safe after last year’s Paris attacks.
They’re two strangers who’ve become friends over their unique and tragic bond: Each lost a father to terrorism.
Anaële Abescat was 11 when her father, Jean-Claude Abescat, 42, was killed in front of her in a 2007 al Qaeda attack in Saudi Arabia. He was a schoolteacher who had taken a job at the French International School in Riyadh and moved his family there.
Kyle Maddison was 4 when his dad, Simon Maddison, 40, was killed in the September 11 attacks on the United States. He was a software consultant for a division of Cantor Fitzgerald and worked in the north tower of the World Trade Center.
Kyle and Anaële first met five years ago at Project Common Bond, an annual camp that brings together children who lost a parent on 9/11 with young people from other nations who’ve lost loved ones to terror.
They arrived as struggling teens who had plunged to dark places. They were still trying to grasp the magnitude of their loss and asking the unanswerable question: “Why?”
They were quiet and at first frightened to bare their hearts. But they found one another and bonded. They could speak about the tragedy they’d experienced. They could talk about other things. Or just remain silent together. Each knew the other understood.
For Kyle, the camp quite literally saved his life. It brought him love at a time when he’d grown isolated and alone. Weeks before his first camp, the loss of his father grew too much, too unbearable. A decade hadn’t eased his pain. He slipped a rope around his neck.
“I don’t like talking about it,” he says, “but if I do talk about it, I have the chance to get the message to someone else who is in that place — to just keep going.”
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