*Sept 11th, 2001
  Paris, France:

My first day in Europe was easily the happiest and saddest day of my life.

It was September 11th, 2001.

Although I tried to take my mind off of the tragedy, everywhere I went had reminders of what happened: flowers, candles and notes in front of the U.S Embassy, and armed security in front of monuments and museums (most of which were closed for a few days). French flags were wrapped and tied with a black ribbon around their poles. All of these were signs of how united the world had come on 9/11 and in hindsight, I am glad I got to see and experience this perspective.