WHAT OTHERS SAY: Reflecting on Sept. 11 can be healing

Monday, September 5, 2011 | 4:05 p.m. CDT

It's started, of course. The images and stories of that dark day in September 2001 are coursing across television screens and the Internet.

Newspaper pages are already filling up with requests for readers' personal reflections, and the stories. Oh, the stories.

Is it enough? Is it too much? What benefit is all the recollection?

In the hours and days after the attacks in New York and the Pentagon, and the hijacked Flight 93 crashing into a Pennsylvania field, we heard the sentence, "Everything is changed."

No longer could we board a plane by walking through a simple X-ray machine. No longer would we take our freedoms — or our safety — for granted.

We felt and saw in our neighbors a renewed sense of patriotism. Stores quickly ran out of stocked American flags. More people attended worship services. And most of us hugged loved ones a little bit more, a little bit longer.

Over time we became accustomed to more intense, and in some cases, outrageous, airport security checks. During the same decade, technology advanced by leaps and bounds, communication devices became smaller, then larger, then we found ourselves with the ability to listen to our own music with tiny earbuds, text others while taking a walk and even create and share our personal stories with a few keystrokes.

Everything has changed, it seems. And anniversaries like the 10th year commemoration of the events of 9/11 are opportunities to take a deep breath, reflect on how those events touched our own lives — and most importantly — listen and learn while our neighbors share their stories.

From the Springfield News-Leader. Reprinted with permission.

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