Ten years ago today was the first day of my last semester at college. I somehow ended up with a class schedule starting at 8:30AM, and after leaving that classroom for the first time that day, I learned how the world had changed.
I vividly remember some of the immediate effects of our collective shock. It took a week or so for television to return to anything but news, and I still recall Jon Stewart returning to the Daily Show with tears in his eyes.
As a nation, we reacted by starting a few wars, and made it impossible to board an aircraft with items as threating as a tube of toothpaste.
But one thing that I remember in the weeks following is that everyone, I mean everyone, was nice to one another. Doors were held, people made eye contact with complete strangers, and drivers even waved people into the line of traffic on the highway. We had all just been attacked and the common sense of shock reminded us of what was important.
That didn't last as long as it should, as we slowly returned to the new normal in the following months. A lot of brave, innocent people were lost that day. Perhaps the best way to honor their memory is to return to that common sense of kindness towards one another.