Congressman Jim Himes writes about that terrible day and it's meaning to all of us:
Eight years ago today, I emerged from a subway station in lower Manhattan and saw that we were in a darker world than any of us had ever imagined. That grim day remains fresh in my memory. The policemen, firemen and medics working through the dust, smoke and their grief and fear to bring hope and aid to the horror. The New Yorkers standing in lines stretching for blocks to give blood. The heartfelt expressions of concern among total strangers.
As much as it pains me to remember that day, to recall the loss of thousands of innocents, I also look back with pride. Shortly after the attacks, our nation pulled together in a way I had never seen. We set aside our petty differences, our superficial concerns, and were drawn to each other as family, as countrymen, as a fair and good people under attack by the very worst. Many fellow Americans enlisted in our armed services, and continue to make staggering sacrifices to keep us safe. Many looked for ways to better engage with their communities, to be more active in our shared mission to improve the world. To some extent, I trace the first stirrings of my interest in government service to that day eight years ago.
Now I find myself on the Committee on Homeland Security of the U.S. Congress. I never walk into the committee room without thinking of 9/11 and the vulnerabilities exposed that day. While we have learned much and adapted, we still have hard work to do, both at home and abroad.
In remembering this day, I think we do most honor to those we lost by remembering the way we felt on 9/12. Never in my lifetime do I recall us feeling so united, so willing to stand for all that is good and right about our country, so prepared to set aside our narrow interests to pursue a common purpose. In these days of challenge and crisis, I hope that spirit thrives.