Following the attacks on the United States on 9/11/01, I wrote a series of essays for myself to capture that moment. I wanted to be sure I remembered clearly where I was in my life and how these events impacted everyone. I also planned from that time to share these essays with my daughter, now daughters, when she was ready so she understood this moment in history from a personal perspective. From those essays came the paragraph cited below.
Eight years is not terribly long, but in the scope of day-to-day activity it is a distant memory. When I look at partisan politics, greed, self-interest, and the general decline in good manners, I wonder if too many have forgotten already the extent people went to help one another, help strangers, in response to these attacks in the days and months following the hijacking of the planes that resulted in so many deaths in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The 11 September 2001 attacks on America are a nation-defining event. Good citizenship was redefined, the balance between freedom and security was reconsidered and tested in light of the threat of terrorism, the small town and big city realized a need for one another and united as one, a generation was defined, a culture and religion was abruptly placed in front of us to understand and accept, people returned to faith and the sanctity of life was again appreciated as a gift from God. Each of these components will effect Americans as a whole and individually. As individuals, we must endeavor to understand the impact of this event in order to improve ourselves and provide for a better tomorrow.