PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For the people who survived the heinous attack three years ago at Tree of Life, these annual observances bring renewed questions, but one survivor says while that’s all appreciated, there are other important things to consider.
Ask Audrey Glickman what Pittsburgh should remember as we mark three years since the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, and she’ll tell you first to remember that it can happen again.READ MORE: Maintenance To Impact Port Authority's Silver Line Next Week
“The one big thing to know is that you have to be aware of your surroundings and you have to know what to do ahead of time,” Glickman said, “Know that run-hide-fight really does work and you should run if you can, hide if you can’t run, and fight if you’re faced with it.”
Glickman survived three years ago by hiding amid bags of clothing in a storage room.
She credits the active shooter training she received at the synagogue down the street where she works – Beth Shalom.
KDKA’s Ken Rice: “Did you surprise yourself that you were able to execute those steps when it was really happening?”READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Reports 9,143 New Cases, 128 More Deaths
Glickman: “We acted in the moment, we all acted in the moment and moments go slow when something like that is happening, so what seems like a full minute might only be a second or two.”
Something else Pittsburgh should know is that the congregants who survived the Tree of Life attack have become part of a global community – interconnected with survivors of attacks in Poway and Parkland and Charleston and Christchurch – all supporting each other, through shared grief.
“It creates a web of strength, a giant fabric of strength and solidarity,” Glickman said. “Strengthening us to fight against what we’re against, which is people who are discontented in life and are wallowing in hatred.”
Glickman says she feels no hatred toward the gunman who forced her to run and hide on Oct. 27, 2018.
“I don’t have the capacity to hate him because that takes too much energy,” she said. “Would I like to see him suffer the death penalty? Yes, but not as a punishment, as a way to terminate his connection with others. He is right now influencing others to do the same thing.”MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Reports 653 New Cases
She says if the attacker were isolated, say, on some remote island, that would be fine too. Just as long as the attacker is forever silenced.