Peggy Noonan feels more grateful. Quincy Jones smelled it coming. And Liz Smith wrestles daily with impulses she doesn't like. Eleven Americans explain on how 9/11 changed them.
Edited by Joni Evans
Quincy Jones, composer, musician, and producer
"In many ways, I felt this coming. Way back with Lionel Hampton in North Africa in '53 and Dizzy Gillespie with the State Department tour in '56. You could smell it then...smell the revolution coming—even then. You know, when I think of 9/11, well, it still just makes me cry."
Rita Rivest, owner of Sage Hill spa in Ojai, California
"I've switched the order of things. I used to do my work first and figure I'd do my personal stuff after. Now I've reprioritized. I make the calls to the people I love, I spend the time with the people I love, and then I do my chores. The amazing thing is, it all gets done anyway."
Peggy Noonan, author and Wall Street Journal columnist
"Since 9/11, I've been thinking of the Stevie Wonder song from Songs in the Key of Life in which he says, 'We all know sometimes life's hates and troubles / Can make you wish you were born in another time and space / But you can bet your life times that and twice its double / That God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed.' We're all here for a reason. We have to help one another."
Ashleigh Banfield, MSNBC
"I grew up in Canada. I used to think America was too introspective. But I've come to realize that this is what makes America strong. Americans focus on themselves...and strive for excellence in doing so. Legally, I can't say I'm proud to be an American...but morally, I can say I'm proud to live among them."
Brian Weiss, MD, author of Many Lives, Many Masters
"I used to say everything works out for the best, and on a cosmic level, I'm sure it does. But I now truly believe that evil and evil people exist. Everyone always says this is part of God's plan and for our higher learning. But now, at the human level, I'm not sure that is true."
Karen Kehela, co-chairman of Imagine Films, executive producer of A Beautiful Mind
"I was born in 1965 in Los Angeles. I am 37 years old. I became an American on September 11, 2001."
Mike Wallace, senior correspondent, "60 Minutes"
"How has 9/11 changed my life? Begin with bewilderment. It was so utterly unexpected, although looking back now, it shouldn't have been. Of course I want to see how it all turns out, but at 84, I imagine I'll be gone before a resolution will be reached. Personally and professionally, I hate to miss it."
Sheila Nevins, executive vice president of original programming for HBO
"I don't let meetings or relationships of any kind go by without saying what I'm thinking in case I don't have another shot. I can't postpone anything in any way. It's almost as if I have a terminal disease."
Liz Smith, syndicated newspaper columnist
"I still see the 19 faces of the hijackers who perpetrated America's worst act of terrorism against civilians. They are burned into my insides. And so I have become a racial profiler, against my will. I have never cared how people worshiped or what color they were. But now I do care."
Peter Cerqua, personal trainer
"I find myself thanking God for the simplest things that I used to take for granted. Every day, something different."
Ben Sherwood, author of The Man Who Ate the 747
"My sensory awareness of New York has changed forever. Before, I blocked out the noises and faces. I lived behind locks. September 11 brought those barriers down. This heightened sensory state is good and bad. It feels more alive. It feels more perilous. Nothing seems the same."