I pay my respect about 9/11 by realizing that for some people in this world, this kind of catastrophic attack is quite routine. Israel, our closest partner in the Middle East, constantly suffers "terrorist" attacks, but you don't have to take your shoes off at the airport, there, so I hear.
I don't want to upset anyone by trotting out the "chickens come home to roost," thesis here, so I will not. But 9/11 should have been our opportunity to embrace the world, in all of its diversity, in a way we never had before; and we could have, the world initially offered us solidarity, saying that "We are all Americans now."
But we didn't go that route, instead it seems, paradoxically, that we've grown more insulated and isolated than ever before, despite the fact that we're involved in at least two wars, maybe three, that we know of.
9/11 should have been the spark of urgency Washington used to bring more of a sense of determination and purpose as far as settling the Palestinian-Israeli war (actually Isreali occupation). If we're going to be so internationalist, then we should actually do the "nation-building" thing, by looking at the structure of financial, economic, political arrangements we have imposed on the world, for better or worse.
Perhaps we could make more progress on the anti-nuclear weapons proliferation issue, by leading by example. After all, it is still the United States and Russia that have over ninety-five percent of them, right?