Where were you when you heard about the September 11, 2001 attacks? I was at home getting ready to go to work. The Today...

Where were you when you heard about the September 11, 2001 attacks? I was at home getting ready to go to work. The Today Show was on in the background when I heard Katie Couric say something about a plane crash. I turned and watched the report, which said no one knew what had happened other than a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

I had a bad feeling and called to my daughter to watch the coverage. You know the rest of the story.

That event started a series of events, highlighting organizations and terms that we had not heard before but are prevalent in our lexicon today: Al Quaeda, Taliban, 9/11 Commission, Muslim Brotherhood, Operation Enduring Freedom, Department of Homeland Security, USA Patriot Act, Ground Zero, shoe bomber, Osama bin Laden, Ricin and Freedom fries.

Everyone in the country was affected by the cataclisment incident, which killed 2,996 people, not including those kiled in the wars that followed. Citizens across the U.S. came together, comforted each other and prognosticated about whether the terrorists would hit us another time or somewhere else. Vigils were held across the country.

Even in light of the horrific attack primarily in New York people became the friendly people that Virginia is noted for.

I remember, and I think we all do, the men and women of the Fire Department, City of New York (NFDY)) who were deemed heroes and some who continue to have serious health problems due to their participation in the rescue attempts, which reminds us of the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. Like the NFDY the veterans of the wars, in retribution for those attacks, are in many ways treated with the same lack of respect when it comes to healthcare.

The only time I remember that people came close to such camaraderie was the “all help each other” friendliness in the time after Hurricane Isabel, two years later on September 18.

But after all of the calamities that have affected we who live here, I remember the aftermath and how we all reached out to each other as neighbors.