We all remember, watching in disbelief, as people died, people survived, and people committed enormous acts of heroism in the face of horror and malice.
The events of that day altered us as a nation. It shattered our sense of security and changed the way we looked at each other and the rest of the world. We were wounded deeply. And while there's been a lot of healing over the past ten years, there's still quite a ways to go.
There are those who (rightly) say that when you're injured or wounded, you can recover, but you're never as sound as once you were. There are also those who (also rightly) say, that surviving adversity will leave you stronger and tougher. More resilient.
I've come to realize that it's not an either/or situation. Both statements are true, and in the end, we can only choose what to do with what we have left. Hopefully, as a nation and as individuals, that choice will be to constantly strive to live well, the lives that so many died to save.1
We remember 9/11/01; we remember the thousands of lives lost, the hundreds of heroes forged, and the fact that on that day and today, we were and continue to be, Americans.