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9/11 memories: Arianna Huffington

We asked the editor-in-chief of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group: where were you on 9/11?

My overwhelming reaction to 9/11 - I was at home in Los Angeles getting my two children, then ten and 12, ready for school - is inextricably bound up not with what happened on 9/11, but with what happened the next day. As the shock wore off and the enormity of what had happened began to sink in, the country's reaction was not par­alysis, but action. Lines formed at blood banks, billions of dollars were donated to charities and volunteers had to be turned away from Ground Zero. The superficial media obsessions that had dominated our airwaves before that day - the now-forgotten non-stories about shark attacks, overage Little Leaguers and Gary Condit - gave way to serious discussions about how to repair our country, physically and spiritually. My deepest memory of 9/11 is how, after that tragedy, in a way and to a degree we have not seen since, Americans were eager to work for a common goal, desperate to be summoned to a large, collective purpose.

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This article first appeared in the 05 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, 9/11