The attacks on September 11th are my generation's Kennedy Assassination. People in my parents' age group can usually tell me what they were doing when they found out Kennedy was assassinated and how it changed that feeling of security, that feeling that America was somehow untouchable, charmed maybe.
That is what September 12th means to me. The 11th was surreal, the 12th was very, very real. I was 20 years old, living on my own and learning the ropes as a card carrying adult. September 12th, 2001 was when I realized America wasn't what I thought it was. It was like the first time you realized your parents didn't have all the answers, when you realized the Wizard of Oz was just a guy behind a curtain. America wasn't untouchable, wars didn't just happen to other people on the other side of the world.
This was terrifying to me as a young adult. I wasn't a child that could trust that I would be taken care of by "the grown ups." I was the grown up now. I had to not only take care of myself should attacks become more widespread, this also meant I had to really think about my decisions as a voter and as an American.
I had no control over what happened on September 11th. Neither did you. But I do have control over how I will be ready should similar events happen in the future. So do you. September 12th is a day to take control. Make a plan, make a kit, be aware of your surroundings. Use September 11th as a day to reflect and to mourn what was lost. Use today as a day to become stronger and ready to take on whatever is next.