Last night my 13 year old asked if I could help him with his homework. I prayed it wasn't math, and fortunately it wasn't. It was still a tough subject. He had a list of questions his teacher wanted him to ask a parent about 9/11 and what it was like. As we come up on the 20th anniversary of the historic attack, it's almost hard to remember what the world was like before.

The first question was do you remember when it happened? I told him how I had heard that a plane had struck the World Trade Center on the radio in my truck on the way to my senior year in high school. At first we thought it was some type of bizarre accident. Then, when the second plane hit we knew we were under attack. I got to my class and had the teacher turn on the TV and we just spent each hour in each class throughout the day watching developments on the news. We learned the Pentagon had been hit. Later we learned about the heroics on Flight United 93 where the passengers fought back against the terrorists. There were so many brave, brave people that day.

Pentagon Hit By Hijacked Airplane
Getty ImagesSW

He asked about what lasting changes took place. I told him how the world changed that day. It started a 20 year war in Afghanistan. We now were on the lookout for terrorists everywhere. Flying would never be the same. Terrorist attacks weren't anything new. We had faced them before this with both domestic and foreign attackers. Terrorist attacks continue to this day. Nothing however was more shocking than 9/11 and how life changed so directly afterwards.

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But, I did tell him about some of the good things that came out of that day. I told him about the heroes including firefighters, first responders, police, and everyday people helping out. 20 years ago we were united against a common enemy. The country came together in a way that seems impossible with the current politics.

Sadly, 20 years later we seem more divided then ever before.

I explained to him that many people died in the attack, and many more died in years following. The brave men & women who rushed to the scene were exposed to dangerous chemicals and dust which sadly took so many of their lives.

It's important that we highlight the good in people that comes out of horrible things throughout history. Humanity is flawed, but I still believe if you turn down the noise that there are more good people than bad people in the world.

NEVER FORGET: Images from 9/11 and the days after

See 20 Ways America Has Changed Since 9/11

For those of us who lived through 9/11, the day’s events will forever be emblazoned on our consciousnesses, a terrible tragedy we can’t, and won’t, forget. Now, two decades on, Stacker reflects back on the events of 9/11 and many of the ways the world has changed since then. Using information from news reports, government sources, and research centers, this is a list of 20 aspects of American life that were forever altered by the events of that day. From language to air travel to our handling of immigration and foreign policy, read on to see just how much life in the United States was affected by 9/11.




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