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On this day eight years ago, the United States suffered a national tragedy that had a tangible impact on virtually all parts of our society. From government, foreign policy, and media, to culture, entertainment and travel, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were a defining moment in our shared history. In recognition of the anniversary of the attacks, here’s the best of what the web has to offer about what that day meant for us all.

From Newsweek, Generation 9/11 a feature story on the children who were in their most formative years when the 9/11 happened, and how it’s affected them since:

Ten is a formative age—not yet a teenager, no longer a little kid. Becoming independent, but still deeply attached to family. Aware of the world, but not yet cognizant of how it works. The events of 9/11 destroyed a sense of security for this cohort of children. Born as the Cold War ended, they grew up in a decade that saw massive economic growth, the dawning of the World Wide Web and a culture riddled with cynicism. Members of the “millennial” generation—born between 1982 and about 2004—they tend to be sheltered, close to their parents, and confident, says Neil Howe, who with William Strauss wrote Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation. The attacks brought terror to their doorsteps: “9/11 was the beginning of a new fear in America about chaos and uncontrolled disorder in the world,” says Howe. Children saw their teachers and parents worried and, in some cases, emotionally wrecked. They watched police officers and firefighters—community protectors—dying in piles of rubble. They got caught up in a collective sense of national dread: what next? And that was a question nobody, not even the highest officials in the country, could answer. Now, as the United States marks the eighth anniversary of 9/11, these children are turning 18 and entering adulthood, and they offer a unique glimpse into the mindset of a group of Americans coming of age under the shadow of terrorism. [SOURCE: Newsweek.com]

Over at the Huffington Post, a call to honor the memory of the fallen by giving back to our communities:

This September 11, some 2,500 family members of those who perished on that tragic day eight years ago — first responders, recovery workers, volunteers, military personnel and leaders of the national community service movement — will gather in New York to commemorate the occasion as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. The day was established as such by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which was passed earlier this year by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support and which will greatly expand the number of citizens engaged in national service endeavors. I can’t imagine a more appropriate manner in which to observe this solemn anniversary and honor the memory of Sen. Kennedy, while at the same time demonstrating both our individual and collective resolve and commitment to a strong, vital future than through service. [SOURCE: HuffingtonPost.com]

Take a look at our “Never Forget” photo gallery:

Check out more stories related to September 11th below:

OPINION: Why Lessons Of Katrina Are As Important As Lessons Of 9/11

Empire State Of Mind: Hip-Hop & 9/11

Celebrities Pay Tribute To 9/11 Through Song

9/11 On FIlm

50+ Good Prayers For 9/11 & Everyday

Will You Cry Out “America” On 9/11??

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