I participate in the required American History courses throughout my lower education. My mother supplemented my education by insuring I have stacks of books to read - books of substance and depth. I read my share of fictionalized American history, with a smattering of European and African tossed in for fun.
But it wasn't until after 9/11 I started paying attention to reading more about my country. Currently, I posses 42 books on American History - biographies of Presidents, social commentaries, collections of documents and speeches and tales of war and heroes. I've even read several.
What 9/11 did, among many other things, was open my eyes to the fact I lived in a country I knew very little about. That I enjoyed freedoms whose source I couldn't name, walk on soil that hid the blood of my ancestors, functioned in a society whose origins of which I was ignorant. I did not want to be this way. 9/11 is the reason I have strived to eradicate my ignorance about my homeland.
It is my way, I think, to honor the fallen, and honor those left behind.