(MUMBAI) -- Two years ago this month, the family of Virginia wife and mother Kia Scherr was unexpectedly and brutally taken from her.
Husband Alan and daughter Noami, 13, were in the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai, India, when they were caught in a three-day, multiple-target terrorist attack across the city that began Nov. 26, 2008, and left 166 people dead.
They had been on a spiritual retreat. Their bodies were left on the floor of the hotel's restaurant.
Nearly two years later -- two years of painfully missed birthdays, Christmases and anniversaries -- Scherr traveled to Mumbai to commemorate the attack and meet with President Obama this weekend about the best way to combat terrorism. Scherr's strategy: compassion.
"We wanted to respond with compassion, love and forgiveness," Scherr told ABC News before her meeting with Obama. "There's enough anger, hatred and revenge in the world and it doesn't help. It doesn't move us forward."
Afterward, Scherr said, she told the president that despite the daily heartache she lives with because of the attack, there is an "opportunity to create a positive outcome from this tragedy.
"We have the opportunity to honor the sacredness of life in ourselves and in each other," she said in a statement after the meeting. "Understanding that we are all one human family leads us to experience compassion and forgiveness."
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