The following post was originally written on September 11, 2012.
I was in Salt Lake City and it was my third week as a freshman 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 alarm clicked on at 7:30am Mountain Time, and before I even opened my eyes, I heard the DJ say in a jovial tone; “It seems as though a plane hit the World Trade Center”.
My dad is from Long Island and at that point I’d been to Manhattan well over a dozen times and had a 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 their 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, professors were crying, 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. I’d been in town three weeks and was just starting to know 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, checked in with family and friends in NY, 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 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.
“Let our hearts be stretched out in compassion toward others, for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf