It was a day that changed our world.

Many of us can recall with vivid clarity where we were and what we were doing as news of the attack on the World Trade Center reached us that dark September morning, now 18 years ago.

In the time since, so many altered aspects of our lives stand as testament to 9/11.

For some, it’s as simple as the inconvenience of added security at the airport. For others, it’s the devastating loss of loved ones who should have been here and mourning the memories that should have been made during nearly two decades.

Some still suffer from respiratory illnesses acquired as ash and rubble rained down upon New York, especially the brave first responders who tried to help survivors. Some were sent far from their families to serve in the subsequent War on Terror.

Still others faced the loss of their patriotic naivety – the belief that our nation was an unshakable force in the world.

Remembering the heavy losses of that day continues to be paramount for all citizens.

Perhaps just as important is remembering what we gained.

In the time following the attacks, Americans rushed out to buy hundreds of thousands of flags. We reached out to friends and strangers alike. Our political differences fell aside as we sought comfort in our unity as one Nation under God, indivisible.

It is with this spirit that members of the Crossroads hope to remember 9/11. In addition to the annual memorial at the Victoria Community Center, residents are asked to take part in a nationwide day of service, supported by many local organizations.

What better way to mark a day of tragedy than by transforming it into a day of good?

We encourage all residents who are able to volunteer with their favorite charity in honor of the lives lost on that fateful day.

We must remember them.

And we must remember to create a nation that does them proud.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

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