From Rutland to Essex and beyond, flags all across the county were flying at half-staff Tuesday in recognition of a day most Americans will never forget.
"I just remember it being such a beautiful day that day here in Rutland," Karly Haven said.
"It started as a magnificent fall day, not a cloud in the sky," said Mary McNeil of Rutland.
On this day 11 years ago, it looked much like it does on this Sept. 11-- crisp air, blue skies, the start of fall. But in the span of just a few hours, it became the end of our way of life as we knew it and a time of change.
"There's not as much freedom it seems. Everyone is under the microscope," said Pat Rawls of Rutland.
"I think people need to understand more in this country what's really happening. That there are people who really do not like people in this country," said John Mazzeriello of Rutland.
"I think that traveling abroad you have much more awareness about being careful and being safe and where your belongings are," McNeil said.
"Even though it impacted Washington and New York, it affected the whole world," said Maria Bove of Rutland.
Psychologists call it flashbulb memory: a dramatic or traumatic experience-- even if it lasts mere moments-- that ingrains itself in your memory forever.
"I was on Long Island heading toward the city and I saw all this traffic pouring out of the city, so I flipped the radio on," said Frank Siwiec of Rutland.
"I know exactly where I was. My son was 2 months old and I had just gotten the big kids off to school and I sat down to watch the news," said Melissa Muzzy of Fair Haven.
"I was working third-shift job and I had just gotten home from work when I saw it happen," Nathan Blanchard said.
Though we'll never forget that day 11 years ago, life does go on.
"I've been flying a flag at my house since 9/11. Since that day," Mazzeriello said.
"And I think we can't forget the victims and their families," McNeil said.
"If we quit doing what we're doing then they win. And we can't let that happen," said Christine Townsend of Rutland.
"It gives you a sense of feeling that I think we are a global society and that we have to take care of each other," Bove said.
For some, as years pass, it will even become a day that has new meaning.
"My grandson is being born today. At first, I thought, oh what a day, but now it's a good day. And it will always be a good day," said Linda Hans of Rutland.
Both President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney toned down their rhetoric at public events for the day. And out of respect to the nation they even pulled their negative TV ads.
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