Yahoo! is asking Americans how September 11 changed them. Below is an account from a reader.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York and I would like ask all Americans to come together and be especially vigilant. To the cynics this may appear to be a Santa Claus list, but at least give it a chance:
1) This year the NFL kicks off its season on 9/11 and the U.S. Open Tennis final New York City will conclude two weeks of competition. Stadiums across the country will be packed and there will be many targets for the deranged nut-jobs that are trying to ruin our lives. I suggest that everyone carry on and enjoy themselves despite the threat of terrorism, and to be especially vigilant. It is your duty as an American. We will not let these zealots dictate our lives.
2) I would like all Americans to be more civil in our political discourse. We can all agree to disagree without being obnoxious; after all we all want the same thing: A better America.
3) Do not be afraid to travel; if you are, you are letting them win; that is their goal.
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4) Don't ever forget that although you might not agree with President Barack Obama, he is still the president of the United States and he deserves respect from all Americans no matter what you think. Use the power of the ballot box to express your opinion; otherwise you do not have the right to be critical of anyone.
5) Be tolerant. We do not all agree on all things, but everyone might not think like you do. Consider other peoples thoughts and respect them; just as they should respect yours.
6) Listen. You cannot learn anything when you are talking.
7) Although most of us believe in God, some of us don't. As far as I know the greatest thinkers in world history could not figure out what happens when you die. Do not let the hubris of your religious beliefs dictate upon others.
8) The greatest threat to our country is not Al-Qaida, but, rather, homegrown degenerates that are hell-bent on making a name for themselves. Once again, don't be afraid to carry on; but always be vigilant.
9) Illegal immigration is a big issue in this country and it has been out of control for many years. Remember that these are people are just trying to scrape out a living. This is what Labor Day is all about. I'm not sure what the answer is here but life is not easy: be considerate.
10) We are still the greatest country in the world. I will never forget the first time I went to Washington D.C. and visited the Capitol Building. Here I was walking down a hallway and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil walked right past me. I thought to myself where in world can you go and have one of the most powerful people in the country walk amongst tourists. I sat in the House of Representatives and listened to a debate while thinking where in the world, besides America, can you experience something like this. I stood on the Capitol building steps and watched in wonder as people from all over the world took pictures so that they could show others about our way of life. Although we all don't agree on things, we are all Americans. And no one will dictate our way of life. Be vigilant and be proud.