On August 10, 1999, I shed my skin as a 9-year-old boy and grew up overnight. I figured I couldn’t be a child anymore when my parents nearly lost their own child.
That morning, a man with hate in his heart shot up the Jewish summer camp we’d been attending, injuring a receptionist, a counselor and three children – my 5-year-old brother, Ben, among them. That day has been imprinted into the back of my mind…but what I remember most is seeing my parents again for the first time.
I remember them hugging me so tight that I thought my lungs were going to pop. I remember looking into their eyes, and at their tears. I told myself, “I can’t cry,” that I needed to stay strong for my mom and dad. If I broke, what hope could they possibly have?
My brother is fortunate enough to have his scars serve as a reminder of what we all nearly lost. But the memories from that day still haunt us all, nearly every time we look at the news.
This is why I’ve demanded more of myself today. Today, instead of crying, I choose to stand up with Everytown and fight for our lives!