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Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe, and this is MorningNewsBeat Radio.

Seven years ago, on 9-11-2001, the world changed. Not just for Americans, though the vulnerability we suddenly seemed to have was unfamiliar, and shattered so many preconceptions we had about ourselves and our world.

I remember that crisp, clean morning well. It started with a run on a day that seemed to define perfection, and quickly turned into a nightmare. Friends and neighbors were lost, and our town on the coast of Connecticut was not so far from New York City that we could not see the smoke that rose from the tip of Manhattan.

One of my main memories from that day, and the days that followed, was the sense of coming together that seemed pervasive. I was working on another website business then, and I can still remember the emails that we got and ran that had little or nothing to do with the business, but that just gave people a chance to talk to each other, and to listen. To be part of a community. I think that’s one of the reasons why, when that website business folded, I was intent on starting up what became MorningNewsBeat – because I felt the power of community.

Not too many weeks later, I found the same thing when I ran in the Marine Corps Marathon, which took us within a hundred yards or so of the Pentagon. The hushed chant went up from the runners and the spectators, the workers and the guards, seemingly spontaneous on another cool clear morning: “USA, USA, USA…”

The sense of community was almost overpowering that day.

9-11. When I see those numbers, or hear them, it is always with mixed emotion. Because while they symbolize the terrible divides that separate many of the world’s citizens, they also represent for me a sense of possibility, of what can happen when people come together in a community.

There will be many moments of silence observed today. But what is a better legacy of 9-11, I think, is for people to actually talk. And listen.

For MorningNewsBeat Radio, I’m Kevin Coupe.

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