A nation's politicians and foreign policy do not define its people; ordinary citizens reacting extraordinarily define its people. My neighbors, friends and thousands of other people like them make America strong, rich and resilient.
I am that still, small voice -- inside, at the back -- that says, "I can." And I've pushed my way to the front, because, even a dozen years after 9/11, "the day everything changed," I'm hearing, "I can't." What has happened to us?
When a Navy SEAL killed the man responsible for the murder of my brother, I was satisfied. But I would have been equally content had he been taken out of that compound in Pakistan in handcuffs and spent the rest of his life sitting in a cell.
As I watch the footage of the grief-stricken people who lined the streets, I can't help but feel a nostalgia for that horrible time because it seems to me that it represents an America more unified than today.
A little government shut-down wasn't going to deter Army Colonel James Pohl. While most federal employees were furloughed, the judge presiding over the 9/11 case at the Guantanamo Bay military commissions on Tuesday insisted the pre-trial hearings continue apace.
I admit that business travel as a working mom has its perks -- room service, going to the bathroom alone and no one waking you up in the middle of the night, just to name a few! But, as glam as that all sounds, the reality is far more grim.
At this moment, Congress has the opportunity to choose a new meaning for future anniversaries of 9/11. It could be the day that life went on just as disastrously as previously -- or it could be the day that changed everything, and this time for the better.