Source: Damian Brandon,

For many of us, 9-11 was a reality check. America is not as “snug as a bug in a rug.” All of a sudden we were able to see what countries all over the world face. Our thoughts and desire to know about other countries in the world changed. Our worldview expanded. For the first time in recent years, it was critical for us to know about conflicts, government processes,  and civil unrest in other places. Human safety mattered, our freedom was threaten and by all means necessary we felt the need to regain it. It was serious gigantic wake up call. Thousands of people lost their lives and thousands of others dedicated and continue to selflessly give of their lives to keep us, our families, and our children safe.

Ironically, 9-11 also caused me to see the world as a more compassionate place. How? Well, many countries empathized with us and tried to come to America’s aid. Even though there are many people who are not in favor of America, many more people were. I believe, real peace can only be found in the presence of God so for once, people thought about their views of a Savior and Creator and it reminded us that if we want peace and happiness in this world it is only temporary,, not guaranteed. For once, our thoughts of who was American and who America represented was challenged. The many faces of America came to light and we  learned that other nationalities, religions, etc should be protected and respected. 9-11 brought American together.

What is most memorable about 9-11 to you?

I want my children to see 9-11 as a memorial for those who lost their lives, but also as a day of reflection, unity, and hope.

If you have children, how do you want them to remember 911?

For many of the youth today, 9-11 is not as real as it was for us who remember exactly where we were. The sense of urgency we felt then is now waning so it is up to us, the people who cried, felt the pain, feared for our lives, and embraced each other to enlighten the babies of yesterday and help them understand that America is not the lull after the storm that we often pretend it is. We must always be ready to defend liberty and stand for peace!