Tuesday marked the 11th anniversary of the worst act of terrorism on American soil that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people.
The city of Marshall had a special program Tuesday at Memorial Park, and similar events took place around the country in cities much bigger than Marshall.
It doesn't matter if you attended the event in Marshall, as long as you took part of your day to reflect, or maybe say a prayer for those who lost their lives and their families. Perhaps that time came Tuesday morning as you watched live coverage of a ceremony at the Pentagon. Maybe that time came after you got home from work and caught similar coverage on the evening news. Or maybe you watched a 9/11 documentary later that night.
Maybe you're one of those proud U.S. citizens who flies the American flag outside your home and you lowered it to half mast Tuesday.
Whatever you did to remember that tragic day 11 years ago, it's important we don't forget. Last year, of course, was the 10-year anniversary - a landmark anniversary, much like the 20th will be. It seems we tend to pay more attention to these historic dates when we hit the 10-year mark, or the 20-year mark. But we really need to do it every year, every Sept. 11.
Because the terrorist attacks didn't just affect a certain group of people, they touched all of us in some way, shape or form. Our lives, all of our lives, changed forever that day. The fortunate ones didn't have a father, mother, brother or sister, aunt or uncle die that day, but we all lost something.
We must also remember that day for our children's sake. Today's 10-year-olds weren't even around on Sept. 11, 2001, and it's up to those of us who remember that fateful day to teach the next generation about it and try as best we can to answer their questions.
You might find the answers difficult to come by.
Trying to define terrorism and why a certain group of people from a country so far away would want to kill Americans is certainly no easy task. But do your best, and then be sure to tell your children about all the American heroes who risked their lives that day to save others and about all the American servicemen and women who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedoms -?before 9/11 and since.
And remember, this is a conversation that can take place at any time of the year, not just on one day in the middle of September, or a day in late May or one in early July. Those days stand out on the calendar, to be sure, but there is never a wrong time to take the time to remind ourselves, and our children, how fortunate we are for what we have.