I was in Salt Lake City and it was my third week as a first year dance major at the University of Utah. I was 20 years old and living away from West Virginia and my family for the first time in my life.
The clock radio turned on to some local music station at maybe 7:30am or so Mountain Time, I know it was before the first tower fell.
“It seems as though a plane hit the World Trade Center” the DJ said in a jovial tone. My dad is from Long Island and at that point I’d been to Manhattan over a dozen times and even have some vague childhood memory of visiting the Top of the World Observatory on the 110th floor of the South Tower. I could immediately picture the buildings and there place on the notorious skyline.
It was a Tuesday, right? I had breakfast and walked a few miles to school. By the time I got there it was clear that this was no normal Tuesday. Campus was buzzing. Classes were canceled, counseling centers were opening their doors, and vigils were already being planned.
I’d never felt more alone or further from home in my life. Tate moved to Salt Lake a month or two later but at that point I’d been in town three weeks and only knew my classmates and roommates.
The rest of the day, and the rest of the week, is a blur. It was a gorgeous almost fall day, like today, and I believe I wondered aimlessly and spent too much time glued to the big screen tv’s in the student union.
I am deeply grateful that my story from that fateful day 11 years ago is not a traumatic one but I think most Americans would agree that it is a day where our lives shifted. I’m not one to dwell on the past but today, in revisiting my day, I send all my love and light out to those whose lives were made more challenging by the events of September 11th.
“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.” Henry Ward Beecher