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Four Years

In four years, almost all of the students who were here that day have gone. On that day, we wrote the names of families we knew were safe on the chalkboard in our office. All day, people came by to check our board and to tell their stories. Someone’s mother usually cleaned in that building, but she had started work uptown that day instead. Another student didn’t hear from her brother, a NYC police officer, until later that day. Four four hours, I didn’t know where my daughter was, but then I did, and she was safe, but could smell the burning even in her apartment in the nineties. Some families never made it to the chalkboard. Later, we assembled under the blue, blue sky to hear Francois Clemmons sing, “His Eyes Are On the Sparrow.” Somehow we made it through the day, the week, the year, and now four years. We went back to our classes and our research and our lives. We will never be the same though, will we?

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