Young Adults Impacted By Terrorism Join Together in Project Common Bond
By Beth Parker
July 27, 2011
Middleburg, VA. – Francesca Picerno had just turned nine years old. She was the apple of her father’s eye.
“He was the best dad ever. We did everything together. I was his little princess,” says Picerno.
But the fairytale ended on 9/11. Picerno’s dad worked in the World Trade Center. He did not make it out.
“It changed my whole life. It changed my whole perspective. I don’t even think I’d be the way I am today. If this didn’t happen to me, I’d be a completely different person,” says Picerno.
And she certainly would not be sitting on a panel at Foxcroft School in Middleburg, VA. The school is hosting a camp called Project Common Bond. It is run by the non-profit Tuesday’s Children.
Young people come from all over the world- Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland, Argentina, Spain. They are connected in a powerful way. Each one has lost a close family member to terrorist.
“The most amazing friends that I’ve ever made in my life. These people are truly understanding. They know exactly how I feel,” says Picerno.
They dance, create artwork and talk about finding peace in a divided world. One person calls the camp “the most positive experience I ever had.”
These young people who have been through so much now face another challenge. It is finding a way to take what they have talked about at Project Common Bond back to their own communities. They say that is the most difficult part of what is happening here and also the most important.
“What I take away from this is if you just focus on the similarities and try to ignore the differences. When the similarities are so much bigger, so much more than the differences, then there is definitely hope for a better tomorrow,” says Richard John Hill from Northern Ireland.