PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WKBN) – On October 27, 2018, 11 people were shot and killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Six others were hurt.
It was the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history.
The trial of the defendant, Robert Bowers, started Monday.
Rick and Ronna Marlin live in Liberty now but Ronna grew up in Squirrel Hill. The Marlins were married at the Tree of Life synagogue. They never thought anything like this would happen there.
“You don’t imagine that anywhere, but that’s the problem, is that in today’s world, it can happen anywhere,” Rick said.
“The place that I was so comfortable with isn’t anymore,” Ronna said.
Ronna was close with the oldest victim, 97-year-old Rose Mallinger.
“Her daughter, Andrea Wender, took her to the synagogue that morning, and they were holding hands when the person shot her mother,” Ronna said.
Ken Bielecki is the executive director of Jewish Family and Community Services, which is offering mental health counseling for anyone affected by the trial.
“A lot of trauma is either primary or secondary, so even having connections to that community in Pittsburgh, we could still be impacted here,” Bielecki said.
For and a half years later, the Marlins hope justice is served for everyone involved in this trial.
“The survivors have to relive the entire experience again to make happen,” Bielecki said.
You can find out how to get help with the Jewish Family and Community Services by calling the Jewish Family and Community Services at 330-746-7929.