…please allow me to take a moment to thank first responders, soldiers, and ordinary citizens who banded together in a time of immense need and tragedy many years ago today.  Perhaps it’s been “long enough,” but this is the first September 11 that I didn’t want up thinking “X years ago, something terrible happened.”  But that does not diminish the respect and appreciation for those who protect us and those Average Americans who worked together to protect each other.  Our world is dramatically changed in the years since, and our collective respect and appreciation for fellow Americans seems to be in question at times.  But for me, on this day, on this (small) blog and in my (hopefully large) heart, I am still shaken by the attacks and grateful for the goodwill shown by so many in the dark period that followed.