I was on my way to work in Hilliard, Ohio when I heard about the plane hitting the north tower. The TV was on as I arrived to work and we all watched in horror as the second plane hit the south tower. We wondered if there was any way to rescue people off the roof by helicopter, but soon it became apparent that this was a situation where rescue may be impossible. People were waving from the windows; people were jumping from the windows. We could see the flames licking at the back of people's necks as they had to make the terrible decision to burn or to jump.

I remember questioning everything. Nothing mattered the same anymore -- just this one event had a profound impact on the people in New York, Washington, and in a field in Pennsylvania that day. This one day changed a nation. This one day changed my life forever (even far from where the attacks occurred). Here were thousands of moms, dads, sisters, brothers, grandmothers, and grandfathers faced with death, saying goodbye on their cell phones, and fighting for their lives. It made me appreciate every moment of life at a level of intensity I had not experienced before Sept. 11, 2001.

That day, standing at work, I felt there was no reason to be at work. I got in my car and drove home in a daze, continuing to listen to the news on the radio. As the mother of a 2 year old and 5 year old at the time (one at the babysitter and one in Kindergarten), this day made me question everything. Why was I at work? What really mattered in life? It certainly made me think that having the priceless chance to hold my husband and my children that day was precious. I felt so much for all those families ripped apart by these events.

A few weeks later in October 2001, I had a trip planned to see a client, MetLife, in New York City. I was a little hesitant at first as I thought about flying into LaGuardia Airport, but soon I decided that the terrorists had won if I was afraid to go to New York City. So with great pride for my country and a sense of defiant joy, I arrived in New York City. The city was still in quiet mourning and dust was still settled in closed shop windows--one that most sticks in my memory is passing a closed shoe store just two or three blocks from Ground Zero. All those empty shoes blanketed in dust. It was overwhelming seeing the pictures, and flowers, and notes on the fences around Ground Zero. Security was tight everywhere we went. The airports were swarming with Army soldiers. I went home to Ohio with a heavy heart, but certainly ready to see my family again.

What has changed in 10 years? I'd like to think that this wounded nation somehow became stronger. Perhaps families are somehow closer. Maybe people don't value "stuff" as much as they once did, and that relationships and experiences with family and friends are more important today as a result of the aftermath of September 11, 2001. I believe we value our military, our police, and our firefighters even more than we did prior to that day, and what an asset they are to our country. The memories of those people who died on September 11, 2001 are honored by serving and loving one another. Many of us will shed a few tears today, and I know I will today and in the years to come. I don't know if we'll ever get over it, and I don't know if we ever should.