By: Pete Bridge
Point Park University student Shevaughn Cash was having a normal work day on Sept. 11, 2001, but wouldn’t find out until later that this horrific day for the whole country could have been much worse for her.
“My mother was supposed to be on Flight 93 but she decided not to go that day. She wanted to stay an extra day in Newark,” said Cash, a junior applied history major.
As Cash remembered how she luckily escaped personal tragedy, many others organized at Point Park University’s Academic Village Park to remember their different experiences on that day.
The community gathered for a candlelight vigil ceremony on the evening of the eleventh anniversary of the attacks. Approximately 200 students gathered for a moment of silence and remembrance.
Cash was working in Virginia Beach at the time of the attacks while her mother was supposed to board a plane for San Francisco to see her husband. Instead, she decided to stay in Newark for one more day.
“She didn’t have a reason, she just decided to wait. She didn’t feel like going that day,” said Cash.
Similarly to Cash, freshman Angela Citrola was blessed enough to receive good news during one of the worst days in United States history. Her uncle was a firefighter in New York City during the attacks. Citrola, a Long Island native, survived entering the World Trade Center.
Citrola, believes that such candlelight vigils provide unity.
“It’s not just a New York thing but it’s an America thing. It’s something you can’t forget and you have to always honor and respect,” said Citrola.
Freshman digital arts major Anthony Pampinella is from New York City. He said that he is able to remember the day’s events despite being 7-years-old at the time, worried because his mother worked in the city.
“It was a really weird day because when you’re 7-years-old, no one is telling you straight up what happened,” said Pampinella.
Pampinella’s father heard the news on the radio and immediately got into contact with his wife, then a paralegal working close to the towers.
“She could see it right from her building. She saw the whole thing,” said Pampinella.
As some students were able to escape personal losses, others helped friends deal with the pain. Junior Jordan Williams said he thinks about 9/11 every day.
“A friend of mine has a friend who actually passed away in Flight 93,” Williams said. “It was probably very hard for him to deal with that and I was there witnessing him going through this horrible event. I knew the person as well.”
“Point Park University is taking a moment out of its busy life and honoring this day as a very emotional day in United States history,” Williams added. “I think it’s very good on our part to just share a moment and mourn for the people who lost their lives in the events.”