To start, my condolences go out to all the September Eleventh victims and their families. Sadly, many of those victims survived the attack but still suffer physically as well as emotionally. I know all the families still suffer. I cannot begin to understand the toll on the families of these victims.
I read about a request for articles to post online about how 9/11 changed you. I am going to post my answer to that question here but first a few memories. I did not lose a family member or friend in the attacks but recall vividly how a co-worker did not hear anything from his mother for days after she rushed him off the phone because she had to evacuate from a small building between the Twin Towers. But he did hear from her. A suite mate of my daughter, a college freshman, did not hear for hours about the safety of her father who worked in the Pentagon. But she did hear from him. My daughter moved to NYC to work for two years after she graduated college where a wonderful woman became a second mother to her. This woman still suffers from the debilitating lung problems she has as a result of being in the area of ground zero on that tragic day.
Another great memory is from my daughter's worry about a friend on campus. His safety was in question for a while because he looked like he could be Muslim. The combination of this with the actual attacks is what changed me. I try harder now to live my life not prejudging others.
I have always tried not to prejudge anyone but more so since 9/11 than ever before. You cannot live consumed with hate especially if it is fueled with fear. This is what I have learned because this is terror and living in terror very often can turn you into the terrorist. We have to watch and pay close attention to our surroundings and be prepared but not live in hate and fear.
Now some people may ask me how I would feel if I was seated on a plane next to a Muslim and I would have to answer that I did that after 9/11. I will admit to a slight feeling of uneasiness at first but it was settled with pleasant conversation between two people.