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Share your thoughts on the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks

Two years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, America has unmistakably changed. Yet, as time heals the emotional and physical wounds of that day, many aspects of life have returned to the way they were. What are your thoughts on this, the second anniversary of the disaster? Has the nation taken to heart the lessons of that searing event? Are we safer today than we were? Or are we at greater peril? How do you rate the job the Bush administration has done combatting terrorism? And what is your opinion on the rebuilding of Ground Zero? What should rise there, and what should the victims' memorial look like?

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I remember exactly where I was when the planes hit and the towers collapsed. We all scrambled to account for all of the employees in the office, then evacuated into the streets of Boston, some of us carpooling and it taking an hour to get where it would normally take 15 minutes. Calling my best friend to see if her husband was down there that day, I found out that he was in upper Manhattan and his schedule had changed, but he had no way of getting home. My father, who lives in Dallas, TX, watched with horror as he realized how many people he knew at AON and Marsh & McLennan who could have been there that day. It hit us on a personal level, and we will never forget what happened in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. My life has been forever changed, and I am now working in the education field, hoping to make a difference in the lives of children, those who are our future.

Colleen, former Malden resident (now in Colorado)

I am not sure that we have taken to heart all of the lessons of September 11th. We spend more time with our families, and we choose jobs that are closer to home. We take basic security measures at work, on the subways, and at the airport. We'd like to think that with Sadam Hussein "dead" that we are safer. But where is Bin Laden? The number one priority should be in hunting this man down. I see this as the President's primary responsibility in the fight against terrorism. Homeland security has not told me how to prepare for new attacks of terrorism. We sit, like ducks, waiting to be bombed out of the water. How long until the next Pearl Harbor? Will you or I still be around to talk and feel about it? to write or read an opinion? Ground zero should be a memorial to the past, taking into account the "footprints" of what (and who) was, while giving rise to substancial architecture, including a symbolic tower, taller than anything else in the world, to let the world know, "We will come back stronger." But the tower must be more than a symbol. We have the responsibility to make ourselves literally stronger by hunting down the killer of the great number of people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. We must also make ourselves TRULY safer: by not only putting in concrete security measures and not tolerating terrorism in other countries, but by also developing the resources in our country: using the social workers and the people people to practice diplomacy and peace. Peace and justice must be dealt in with equal hands. What has saddened me about the Bush administration is that I have not seen equal focus on peace and diplomacy as on war. While force is vitally important, so are the people who can end violence in the long run: the priests, ministers, psychologists, and teachers who can get leaders together in one room--feeling for one another, while long-standing conflict dissolves. What is missing is communication and empathy. Although I applaud Romney's financial measures in attempting to drag Massachusetts out of the whole, I am saddened by his apparent lack of empathy and concern for other people. To take money from the social service sector--the sector that is continually giving--is to bankrupt our greatest, most renewable resource--our people. I am saddened that our leaders do not see that. If they did, we would constantly be building toward peace and justice in the midst of the wars. However, these victories are not valued, as important as they are alongside intelligence gathering, a strong army, and financial resources. I think that until we learn the lesson of valuing our human resources in a "whole" way, we will not be buffered from evil. And all we can ever be is buffered. Evil destroys, and good people and citizens can work to protect each other from it. Imagine the ramifications of investing ourselves in "good" people and citizens. Imagine those results, Mr. Romney, Mr. Bush.

Jennifer, Somerville

I can't believe that it has been 2 years since that day. Many of us were effected - being there that day, knowing someone who was there, knowing someone that died or lost a loved one, and even losing your job as the economy shut down. The loss was huge, both in terms of the effect on people and in terms of the economy. Sadly, many have not even seen the lessons remain invisible to many. Our immigration policies are unenforced and remain a threat to our security. States knowingly hand out drivers licenses to criminal illegal aliens, any of whom could be a terrorist here to harm us. They do it in the name of "safety". How stupid. If they deported the illegals like they are supposed to, wouldn't that be even "safer" for us? At least we have the leadership of Pres. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and others to take the fight to the terrorists where they live instead of waiting for them to come here. They could do better, certainly. For example they are waiting way too long to increase the size of our armed forces. WHat are we going to do if we are threatened by Iran, Syria, North Korea or even France :). We also have to thank Attorney General John Ashcroft to stand up for our rights as citizens to be free from those that would do us harm. The hatred spewed at him is unbelievable.

Richard, Foxboro

I remeber being at work where we had a large-screen TV in our cafeteria which was usually tuned in the a news broadcast in the mornings. I went in to get a cup of coffee and seeing the smoke from the first tower. Being a firefighter, I kept watching and saw the second plane hit live on the screen. I watched for a few more minutes and then the thought that my wife, brother and sister were all in Boston at work that morning and there was a good chance that they did not know what was happening. I spoke to my wife and we decided that she was better off not leaving the city becuase I could not leave work at that time to get her from the train station. As I was speaking to my brother, somebody came into my office to tell me that there were reports of other planes in jeopardy and I told my brother that I think he better get out of the city. I called my wife back and she made arrangements to get a ride home with a friend and turned my attention to my sister. My brother and I spent the next couple of hours trying to call her cell phone with no answer. As you can imagine, I was almost hysterical when I did finally get in touch with her and told her what was going on. She was much more calm than I was and she was also able to get home shortly after. My mother told me that my sister was very surprised and greatful that we were so concerned for her and I think that we are all a little bit closer for that day.

Eric, Walpole

I was watching GMA this morning and they replayed the footage and it felt like it was happening all over again. We had a nice memorial outside my office building this morning and said a prayer for all those lost and their families. They all remain in my prayers.

Chuck, Dallas, TX

Just looking back at all the names on the "official" list of victims is still hard. I was matched up with Eric Ropiteau at my college orientation. We stayed friends all through school, but didn't hear anything from him after graduation until I learned he was lost in the WTC attack. And Josh Piver was a great guy, ready to do anything for anyone. Now just a memory. Where's the justice? Why do good people have to die so early in their lives? Stop fighting. Stop bombing. Start making peace...

Jeremy , Boston, MA

This is in response to Jerry, in Frederick MD How can you say that events that occurred two years ago were predictable? On Sept. 11th 2001 Islamic militants murdered thousands of innocent people. Innocent people whose loved ones will never be able to look them in the face again and tell them how much they do love them. The United States spends billions on foreign aid, which is used for building schools, providing medical care and helping out millions across the globe whose lives are made better by our support. Why donít you go live in some other country and then tell us how bad policies are then. Thatís right, you wouldnít be able to voice your opinions because those same governments that you seem to think are so "bullied" donít allow their people to speak out. How dare you make what happened two years ago anything but what it was Ė a cold blooded savage attack that left thousands of victims in itís wake.

Paul , Quincy

Indeed Today is a wide spread somber reflection of those terrorists attacks, I think Bush is doing as good a job a president can do regardless of the way other countries have turned their backs on America. I See so much strength in the children today who spoke, they too, are truly Americas heroes.

Michelle, Wakefield

9/11 is a day that will remain with us for the rest of our lives. Remembering this day our eyes continues to tear and our hearts keep on grow weaker the way those buildings were coming down piece by piece. To all the families and friends I pray for you. For my self I have the front page of 9/11 framed for little girl to see and understand what happened on this year and date when she was only four months away to be born.

Barros, Brockton

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that has lost someone in this tragedy. They also go out to the United States. We will get these people!!!

mary-ann, lawrence

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