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12 Sep

10 years ago something horrific happened to our country, our people and our mindset. People said America would be forever changed because of 9/11 and it has.

American flags line the area of Wall Street in lower Manhattan in the summer of 2011.

Having lived in New York City this summer, the feelings surrounding this anniversary are a little more dear and close to me.  No, I didn’t have to suffer the loss of family or friends in the attacks. But I have friends who survived them and live with the horror every day. But NYC is a strong, resilient city. New Yorkers are tough with unyielding will, the will to survive. And because of this tragedy we are all a little more compassionate. A little more united. And hopefully this “will to survive” will transform into a will to live. Fully. Happily. Fearlessly.

10 years ago I was sitting on the gym floor at Staley Middle School in Dallas, TX. As a 12 year old, I listened to the announcement over the school intercom. The World Trade Center had been hit. Everyone seemed crushed. Scared. Did I truly understand what had happened? No. Did I wonder why my parents didn’t take me out of school like many others? Maybe.

The rest of the evening was spent entranced by the TV, replaying clips of the planes diving into the buildings. Over and over and over again. Until my head throbbed with physical pain.

While our troops are some of the only ones that suffer physical pain now, I hope we can all remember, not only on 9/11 but every day, how blessed we are to live in the United States of America. A land of freedom. Be grateful for this nation.

So, I issue a challenge. For myself and every person: Be concerned to share your thoughts and vote, in appreciation for our freedom.


Osama got Jimmered?

2 May
This sits above University Pkwy in Provo, Ut, “Osama Got Jimmered” referring to BYU’s star basketball athlete Jimmer Fredette. Photo courtesy of Ryan Hill.

So apparently this is how Provo, UT is celebrating the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. 

VIDEO: Singing at Ground Zero Sunday night

2 May
Sorry for the poor quality. Used my iphone4 in the moving crowd.

Ground zero the center of NYC celebrations

2 May
People crowded in the streets near ground zero in the early morning hours after President Obama confirmed the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden.

After a long and busy weekend, the news of Osama bin Laden’s death swarmed around NYC as we all tuned in to hear the words of President Obama. The press conference did not occur until midnight approached. 

More than nine years later, the United States has brought bin Laden to justice for his heinous crimes against the thousands of Americans who were innocently slaughtered in the attacks of 9/11. 

My trip to ground zero last night was a long and memorable one. Arriving after 12:30 a.m. the streets surrounding the memorial were swelling with people, flags and news agencies. The crowds chanted “U.S.A.,” “Osama, hey hey hey, goodbye” and lines from the “Star Spangled Banner.” 

Men climbed up the traffic light poles and anything that could give them a view of the patriotic scene. President Obama spoke of another uniting of the American people and this congregation after his announcement was just that: a uniting of New Yorkers supporting the truths and principles this nation was founded upon: justice and freedom, and remembering their friends and family who had fallen. 

While the scene seemed to be unruly at times and barring on disrespectful (chants of “F#$% Osama”) it was overall a grand gesture of America’s feelings: joy, pride, relief and some fear.
American flags are selling out all over the city. 

Today, the NYPD has upped their security in every part of the city: Grand Central, Times Square, ground zero, the subway system and airports. The thought did cross our minds as we rushed to ground zero last night: will there be rogue retaliation for bin Laden’s death? Will we be able to prevent it? 

Every news agency is covering this frantically. Fox New’s big bumble last night was comical. (Their website banner completely misspelled Osama bin Laden’s name and every other word in their headline.) The New York Daily News did not let this opportunity pass them by (they never do). Their headline is being called the most flashy/forward in the world. Check out this link to see the cover.

I was surprised at the small number of interns who decided to go to out and see the news. 

I am a journalist. To me, that means going where the news is. Being a part of historical moments and communicating what happened. I have such unique opportunities here and must take advantage of them. Otherwise, why leave Utah and the BYU bubble?

I encourage everyone to reflect and remember 9/11 today and how it has changed us and our country. 

(This post is not a criticism nor intended to be a comment on other’s weaknesses. It is an observation of the events which is followed by my definition or purpose of my career choice.)

Standing for the Family and friends

8 Mar

This weekend flew by, as usual.
I attended a conference of sorts on campus, Stand for the Family Symposium put on by BYU’s Law School. There were some wonderful talks and lectures. Several of my Jerusalem friends were also in attendance. Elder Porter spoke Friday night. We feel a special connection to him, since he stayed with us at the Jerusalem Center several weeks last fall, in addition to speaking to us at Stake Conference there in Jerusalem.

The whole conference was based on the fact that societies and people are forgetting the importance of families in regards to traditional values. Eating dinner with your children. Current divorce rates. It was a very interesting weekend.

Last night I covered Elder Rasband’s talk at the church’s CES Fireside. He spoke on friendship. It is so important to be a good and true friend as well as mentor. It definitely made me re-evaluate my friendships and whether or not I am the best friend and mentor to others.

Here is my article published in the paper today.

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