In 2004, David Hatuel lost his family in a terrorist attack. Today, David is the President of OneFamily. He delivered the keynote address at the OneFamily UK Gala Dinner:
On 2nd May 2004 I lost my family—my wife Tali and our four daughters: Hila 11, Hadar 9, Roni 7, and Merav 2. They were shot by terrorists while driving from Gush Katif to Ashkelon to meet me. The car was forced to swerve off the road and then the terrorist approached the car and shot them at point blank range. My wife was nine months pregnant… with our unborn son.
I thought to myself that I could not go on. I’d lost everything but my friends from my neighborhood stood by me, supporting me and stayed with me at every moment. And if it wasn’t for them and for the support of One Family, I would not be standing here today. They gave me tools to cope and get through those long days of despair. Day by day, slowly but surely I could see a way forward.
At times memories are what helps my heart continue pumping, to keep on progressing forward. For it is the recollections of good times, which enwrap within them the experiences, the smells, and the scenes which once were and will never return – awakening a desire to once again form new memories, to once again experience life.
Yesterday, was the 13th anniversary of my families’ murder. I lit five memorial candles last night and glanced at the burning flame. That same burning flame that is now inside me giving me the courage to come and talk to you this evening. For I know that without people like yourselves, supporting the work of One Family, this outstanding organization, the terrorists that decimated my life would be able to count many more victories. Thanks to people like you, I have been able to cope and move forward with my life.
I have married Limor and together we have five beautiful children. I am once again building a home. My new home is an addition and not a replacement of the home that was destroyed. My wife and children live inside me. I am like a tree whose branches were cut off and now they are growing again. I had two options: Fall down and be totally destroyed, or stand up and live. I am choosing to live!