On Tuesday Americans paused to remember that day 11 years ago when our innocence was shattered. Our hearts were pierced like the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and an open field in Shanksville, Pa., on that day. We couldn't believe the reports. It just couldn't be true. Who would do such a thing?
Before the long the names and faces of those terrorists were being printed and broadcast by news outlets across our country and, undoubtedly, the world. We knew who to blame. We were outraged. We were hurt.
What we perhaps didn't know at that time was just how much our lives would change. From that moment on we lived our lives a bit more "on edge". Our senses were heightened to any suspicious behavior. Security was tightened just about everywhere -- but of course most noticeably on planes and at federal facilities. We developed and used a color coded system to let us know of our risks for terrorism on our own soil.
Those last four words are, we believe, what hurt us the most. Not since Pearl Harbor has our country been directly under attack in our own land. It was a foreign concept to us and still remains a bit unbelievable. We don't have war here, we watch it on television, right?
Oh, but it was here. It is here; we're just playing defense right now.
Yes, that day changed our lives forever. But it is hard to imagine just how it changed the lives of those who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001. We can't truly feel the pain of the survivors. We don't know the aftermath for the responders. All we can do is remember. . . and pray.