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  “I may never be normal again. But this is my life now. I have to live it.” — Manu Dhingra, 27, a securities broker who suffered burns over a third of his body on 9-11

A 10-year Perspective

The Twin Towers, March 2001 .. Wikipedia photo

How did 9-11 change your life, I was asked.

It was a question I found difficult to answer. No sudden revelations came to mind on how my life was different today than it was that horribly bad day in 2001. I lost no loved ones, although I mourned because of the senselessness that took so many innocent lives and disrupted so many families.

I continued living my life as before. My job went on, as did those of my children. My grandchildren continued graduating from school, marrying and having children of their own.

And then the “what if” questions hit me.

What if there had been no 9-11? Would we have still gone to war with Iraq? How many American soldiers and innocent civilians would still be alive today if 9-11 hadn’t happened?

Would the Patriot Act still have been passed, causing Americans to lose many freedoms on which this country was founded? Would our country’s leaders still have resorted to torture with the excuse of keeping America safe?

9-11 -- The horribly bad day that changed everything.

Nasty questions. Nasty answers.

Yes. I have changed. I’ve lost the mom-and-apple-pie image of America that I grew up believing in. My ever-optimistic attitude toward life has been charred. My trust in human nature has dimmed and my sense of security is dampened.

But life goes on, and I have no intention of giving into fears so as to turn the world over to the bad guys. I live my life as before. Perhaps that’s why on being asked how had 9-11 changed my life, the first thought that popped into my mind was “It didn’t.”

But of course it did.

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