It's hard to believe that it has been 11 years since terrorists attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001.
We watched with horror that Tuesday morning as airplanes flew into each of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. We were shocked to hear that another plane - thought to be targeting the White House or Capitol - crashed into an open field in Shanksville.
Most of us not only remember vividly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news for the first time, but also how the citizens of this country reacted.
It was hard to go anywhere without seeing dozens of American flags flying with pride. Many of us felt compelled to volunteer to help our fellow man by doing things such as donating blood, giving money to help with the cleanup effort or supporting the families of the victims.
In the wake of tragedy, our country was the United States. It was a time when we focused on our commonalities instead of our differences.
The whole reason the U.S. was sucker-punched that day was because the attackers hated all that America stood for.
They wanted to fatally wound our country. But what they accomplished instead was to strengthen the resolve of America and let the world know that this country can do anything.
Eleven years later, the World Trade Center is rebuilt, our country's defense is stronger and Osama bin Laden is dead.
If the tragic events of that day taught us anything, it's that which holds us together is stronger than that which tries to tear us apart.
It's why we're the United States of America.