We are coming to the end of a year that none of us who lived through it will ever forget. Not since the assassination of John Kennedy had so much of us sat transfixed in shock before our televisions. Yet, not since World War II had the nation come together as it did in those days after the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
I'm not one of those who believes that such things happen to make us stronger and better. I don't know why they happen. But it is during such times that we see just how strong and good we can be.
And we have seen that over and over, not just from the firemen and the policemen and the rescue workers and our brave young military people still willing to risk their lives for the rest of us, but in so many other ways as well: in the return of civility. Road rage is down, and we seem to be speaking to one another again on the streets. "How are you today?" It made us feel good just to say it.
It was a year we remembered the government wasn't the enemy, as some had been trying to tell us. We realized the government was just us, working together to do what we couldn't do alone. We realized we do need each other.
Yes, it was a year when the sorrow and anger and anxiety seemed almost unbearable. But it was also a year that made us proud to be Americans.
© MMI, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved