Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, The PBS NewsHour asked Americans to submit videos of their reflections on the past decade. With help from PBS member stations around the country, we created an online project called the 9/11 video quilt.
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You didn't have to live in one of the cities under attack to know that 9/11 forced all Americans to think about what happened and why.
To prove that point, we invited viewers and online visitors to submit videos of their own reflections on the past decade. With help from our PBS colleagues around the country, we created an online project we are calling the "9/11 Video Quilt." We'll be using the quilt in tonight's program to establish some common themes.
Here's a sample.
It terrified our nation. We were all horrified and afraid of what happened. We were not used to that as Americans. Nobody messes with us really, you know?
ELIZABETH MACPEAK, San Antonio, Texas:
That morning after it happened, it was all on TV. And I cried because so many people lost their loved ones, and it hurt. It hurt. It hurt me, and I didn't know anybody. It hurt me feeling for the people that they had lost.
KERRY HOLTON, Oklahoma City, Okla.:
We were blind sided. We didn't see that one coming. I think we're more aware, more cognizant of what's out there and what can happen.
JULIAN WRIGHT, Washington, D.C.:
This is one time that I guess our generation's sort of Pearl Harbor when everybody was on the same page, felt the same thing at the same time.
CLARE HANSON, Rochester, N.Y.:
Our country became more united than it was before, but definitely I focus on the fear. Our country will always be fearful of something like that happening again.
Ever since 9/11, the awareness of the fact that something can actually happen on our soil has changed because everybody will — most Americans have been ignorant to the fact that it can happen.
CHRISTINE MORENO, San Diego, Calif.: I think it made a lot of people more paranoid, as well. More judgmental looking at, you know, other races, looking at other religions.
BALTAZAR BENAVIDES, St. Louis Mo.:
What stands out to me most is that it provided a unifying event for a lot of America to cling on to, to hold on to and to share with each other.
ANTHONY GLENN, Rochester, N.Y.:
I wake up thanking God I've seen another day. Just live it like it's your last, because you never know which tragic situation could happen, such as 9/11.