Margaret, Survivor

Margaret, Survivor

Age at displacement: 28 years old

I can still remember my mom and dad’s faces of despair, fear, and stress, wondering where our family would go. We had our younger sister, who’d had a major stroke and brain surgery and was trying to recover.

We had no medical insurance, and we were all helping my sister recover. There was the sudden, unexpected stress and anxiety of being forced out and wondering about my poor sister and where we would live.

We were left helpless with no hope, time, or assistance.

I can clearly remember to this day the smell of smoke, the lights, and the heat of the fire. The horrible loud sound of bulldozers when our family, neighbors, and friends’ homes were being burned and demolished. No one had concerns about our health from all the smoke inhalation, ashes, and dust. They even threatened to have our electricity and utilities turned off. As we stood helpless with no hope, we wondered who would be next and why?  We watched our houses, belongings, all our happy memories, and wonderful times we had in Section 14 be burned to the ground.

To this day, I wonder why we were mistreated. We were hard-working people. We were voters, veterans, and essential workers and contributed to the city’s growth today.

We suffered irreparable financial, psychological, and emotional damage that we will never forget.