The horror of 9/11, and the unity it brought

Colin Roddick reflects silently at a candlelight vigil at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on September 12, 2001, to commemorate the victims of the 9/11 2001 terrorist attacks.

9/11 was one of the worst things that ever happened to America, and those of us who live in the Northeast will always carry special memories of that day.

I knew ten people who died that day or lost close relatives, and my memories are nothing compared to their losses. But I remember how helpless we felt that long morning, until we located and knew our younger daughter, who worked in midtown Manhattan, was safe.

As the grandfather of twins, I remember actually feeling physical pain when I learned that 11 twins lost siblings that day.

But I also remember some wonderful things.

Members of Congress gathering on the Capitol steps to sing "God Bless America" that night.

The country and its elected representatives were coming together as we had not come together since World War II.

The next day as I drove to work there was suddenly no road rage - people honked and smiled, and flew the Stars and Stripes from their radio antennas.

Congress passed a $40 billion emergency appropriations bill that day - and passed it unanimously.

The unity would not last long, but I was there and I saw it happen.

Ten years later, I sometimes wonder if we could still come together as we did then.

To be honest, sometimes I'm not sure. But I want to believe with all my heart that we could.

  • Bob Schieffer On Twitter»

    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.