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Tonaya Papanikolas ReportingWhen the events of September 11th happened, many people took time to look closely at what was important in their lives. Utahns and Americans across the country gave more to charity, donated blood and even attended church in greater numbers than before.
Like any tragedy, the further it gets from when it impacted us so greatly, the more people push it to the back of their minds. In Utah, some of the things people did to have a positive impact on society and re-prioritize their lives faded into the distance, but in other cases, people made sure to continue making them a priority.
When the World Trade Towers collapsed, people seeking spiritual answers and healing packed into churches across the nation. Those numbers have now dwindled again, though many people received hope and solace from churches.
Donations also went up across the country. Philanthropic response after the attacks reached 2.8 billion dollars. And many people hurried to their nearest blood donation centers to give what they hoped would help those in need.
The Red Cross and the United Way in Utah say five years later, donors are still generously giving what they can, but life has also gotten back to normal for many people.
Todd Penner: "I think with time, things start dropping out of our minds and we get back to the daily things."
Theresa Martinez, Professor of Sociology, U of U: "We need times of reassurance and giving and all those kinds of things, but we also have to have a daily life."
Some Utahns are still flying flags in their neighborhoods today, but you certainly don't see as many flags as after the attacks. A Dan Jones poll for KSL shows the number of people who say they have a deeper sense of patriotism since Sept. 11th has gone down in the last five years, but it's still above 70-percent.