Saturday, September 17, 2011

Remembering 9/11...A View from Harlem

As I curled up on my couch last week, flipping through television channels and eager to find something to watch for some sort of Thursday-night entertainment, I realized that I was out of luck. The Office was a repeat, I'm not a big fan of Wipeout and I had stopped watching Degrassi: The Next Generation by the time I was 15. I continued my quest to try and find something worth watching when I came across a documentary about Sept. 11. With the flip of a channel, I was instantly taken back to the most devastating day in my lifetime.

 Ten years ago, on that Tuesday morning, I sat in my sixth-grade homeroom class on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, waiting for my father to pick me up and unsure about what exactly was going on. There was a rumor spreading around school that the World Trade Center had been hit by planes. At first I was skeptical, but the faces of utter disbelief and sadness among my peers and teachers confirmed it for me. We sat in the classroom in silence, listening to the radio, waiting for what would happen next. When my father arrived, I ran into his arms -- an embrace that some of my classmates would never have with their parents again. The car ride back to Harlem was filled with questions. What exactly happened, Daddy? What is a terrorist? Were they going to start hitting random buildings? Would the

Adam Clayton Powell building on 125th Street, located a few blocks from my house, be next? Were we safe? It wasn't until I arrived home and turned on the television that it really hit me. Right before my eyes was footage of the twin towers -- a place where I had once gone for a fourth-grade school trip -- crumbling as soot-covered civilians ran for safety. I saw damage from the plane that crashed into a section of the Pentagon and witnessed a billowing cloud of smoke rising from a field after Flight 93 went down near Shanksville, Pa. To continue please click here:

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