It’s been 16 years since the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. I almost remember it like it was only a few years ago.
I was seven years old sitting in my second grade classroom in Queens, NY when it happened. I couldn’t really understand what was going on but everyone was sent home early and the footage of the Twin Towers, also known as the World Trade Center buildings, falling down kept replaying on every channel on the TV.
My parents tried to explain it to me. Seven-year-old Dana only wanted to know one thing: “What happens now?”
Back in 2015 I visited the 9/11 Memorial & Museum where I saw this photograph of a Lower East Side mural by graffiti artist Chico. In it, Big Bird sits in a boat on the Hudson River, the Twin Towers and the rest of the skyline in the background as he holds U.S. flag with a bent stick. A heart with a crack down the middle appears in the foreground to the right of Big Bird.
The juxtaposition of a lighthearted children’s show character and the tragedy of 9/11 in this mural really hit home for me, as I was young when it all happened. Big Bird wasn’t the only one with a broken heart after those events.