Talking About Terrorism As an Individual Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

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Editor's Note: On June 3, 2017, several major news stations interrupted their regularly scheduled programming once again to provide up-to-the-minute information relating to a terrorist attack in England. Sadly, these interruptions have become all too common in households across the country with terrorist attacks monopolizing today's headlines. Explaining these acts of terrorism to our children can be complicated. As visually impaired parents, we can't let our inability to "see" what is happening to impede our capacity to explain terrorism to our kids. In today's post, Peer Advisor Dave Steele (who resides in the UK with his wife, Amy and four children) recalls the recent terrorist attacks in his country. Dave shares a new poem and a personal story about his experience during the terror attack in his hometown of Manchester, England.

Terrorism: The Attack in My Home City of Manchester

By Dave Steele

The recent terror attack in my home city of Manchester has had a huge affect on me and my family. The horrific atrocity that resulted in the loss of 23 innocent lives not only took place just a couple of miles from my doorstep, but I also knew people who had loved ones at the concert. Hearing the unthinkable accounts of terror, loss, and tremendous bravery from those there that night filled myself and my wife, Amy with worry for the safety of our children. Every time we attended a public event, questions of "what if" were becoming a common emotion, but now, we were worried about taking our children into town. I know this is what the terrorists want us to feel, and by giving in, we would be in effect letting them win. Amy and I were not going to put our fears on to our children, but in private, we were shaken. We have witnessed the recent attacks in London, but this one was too close to home. As a father, it's my instinct to protect my family. Since I became visually impaired, and my sight deteriorated to the point where I now only have 5 percent remaining and no peripheral vision, I worry that I'll be unable to protect my loved ones. So, the thought of being in the midst of a terror attack with no useful vision is the stuff of nightmares and gives me more reasons to hold my children that bit closer. Nevertheless, I know that no matter how little sight I have, I would do anything to keep them safe.

In the wake of the Manchester attack, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and kindness shown by my fellow Mancunians. I have always been proud to be born in Manchester and wasn't surprised at the response we gave. Communities and all faiths pulling together to look after one another. I, like many other proud Mancunians, now have a permanent reminder of that strength, as I donated to the Manchester Bee Tattoo Appeal. The Manchester bee has long been a symbol of our hard work and busy, strong mentality. The tattoo artists of Manchester started a campaign to raise money for those who lost loved ones that night by tattooing the Manchester bee on all who donated over a few days. I and 10,000 others wear my bee tattoo with great pride. It will stand as a reminder of the strength in the face of adversity we show to make certain that evil will never succeed.

Underneath the surface of this grimy shiny place.
You'll find a strength inside us all
that fear cannot replace.
No dagger takes our swagger.
Know that hate can't take our love,
because the worker bees from Manchester
are just a cut above.
With a welcome of a milk with two,
Tea of gravy pie and chips.
The northern soul is in us all,
these lyrics on our lips.
We've suffered through the ages,
and we've danced through cobbled streets.
The people of Greater Manchester Walk to a different beat.

For tips and additional examples of explaining this difficult issue with your children, read our new article, "Talking to Your Kids About Terrorism As a Blind or Visually Impaired Parent."

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