WASHINGTON -- Washington, D.C. is the center of American politics and power. But when American Airlines Flight 77 torpedoed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the perception of America's impenetrable might came crashing down.
After a decade of rebuilding, the Pentagon has been restored, the government created the Department of Homeland Security, and the nation's capital is more secure than it was when the hijackers executed their plan.
Generally speaking, life has moved on.
This is particularly true for people like Martha Hamilton, who on 9/11 was on her way to work near the White House.
Ten years later, she and her husband are raising their 3-year old son in downtown Washington.
"There are a lot of things for parents to worry about, and certainly after 9/11 it changed everyone's worldview and feelings of security," Hamilton told CBN News.
"But you really just can't let that consume you, so we're just trying to raise him to feel safe and secure as best we can," she said.
Realtor Don Denton has been living and working on Capitol Hill since the 1970s. Denton said that after the infamous terror attacks, a few families moved out of town because they no longer felt safe.
"People uprooted their lives and made basic life decisions on where they're going to live and how they're going to raise their kids because they were afraid," he said.
"All of a sudden, New York City, Washington, D.C., big cities like this might become targets," he said.
But that was the exception, not the rule.
"In the last 10 years, this city has come back with a vengeance," Denton said.
Jane Volkema is one of the newcomers who moved to Washington area in the wake of the attacks. Volkema said she no longer cringes at the sound of low-flying planes landing at nearby national airport.
Instead, she appreciates the laughter ringing from the school across the street from St. John's Church where she now ministers.
"To see how far we've come by the kids playing across the street," she said. "I think it's amazing that again, with our faith in God, He's made us stronger."
For many, looking back on that day shows America's resilience. Looking toward the future, Americans remember the promise to never forget.