My 9/11/01

Lifestyle Photographer, Ryan Smith, Philadelphia, PA

I was living in Moscow, Idaho at the time of the 9/11 attacks. I woke up with the excitement of living somewhere new and getting ready to start my first semester as a transfer student to the University of Idaho. I was making breakfast when I turned on NPR. That’s how my roommates and I heard about the attack. I was shocked, angry and a little scared. I was on the opposite side of the country from my family in PA and living in a place that very few people know anything about.

I carried a portable short wave radio with headphones around all day so I could listen to the news coverage while I went to school. I remember sitting in a computer lab checking email and looking at news coverage online while listening to the shortwave. I remember talking to my family back here in PA. I remember talking to my roommates and to my classmates. But, I was so far away it didn’t seem real. It still doesn’t seem like it should have been possible. My 20′s have been lived in the shadow of 9/11 and every year I think about where I was that day.

I was in Idaho. I was in a remote part of the country, about as far away from NY, PA and DC as possible. The picture above is from the Salmon River in Idaho, about 2 hours from where I lived. I actually took this picture in 2009 when I was visiting, but this same location is where I spent days before and after the events of 9/11. It’s a place that always brings me peace of mind and peace of heart. Whenever I’m sad, frustrated or overwhelmed I think of this place. It’s my safe place.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the heinous events of 9/11. To all the families and friends of those lost, to all the members of our armed forces, to all the first responders, to all Americans home and abroad and to all of humanity, I wish you peace.

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