Sunday’s observation of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States took place nationwide with cautious confidence.

The legacy of the Sept. 11 victims – nearly 3,000 in total – was honored in solemn yet patriotic tributes across the nation. Public ceremonies were held, and emergency responders who put their lives on the line to save others were honored at events in communities throughout the country.

A silver lining to the tragic events of that day can be seen through the renewed appreciation for those who serve, as well as a true sense of patriotism.

With public observations of the 10-year anniversary taking place everywhere, there were legitimate concerns that another terrorist attack could take place. “Credible” terrorist threats were reported, and security measures were raised. Gatherings were held at Ground Zero in New York where the World Trade Center once stood and where a new memorial to the victims was unveiled to family members. The memorial opened to the public today.

Observations also took place at the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. and in Shanksville, Pa., where the other hijacked plans went down.

President Obama made his rounds to the ceremonies at the crash sites as well as Arlington National Cemetery, delivering a message that the United States is a “resilient nation” and that Americans “refuse to live in fear.”

Indeed, Americans came out to public events in full force, and while they did so with confidence, it was certainly a priority to remain on guard.

The NFL opened its regular season on Sunday as well, holding tributes to the Sept. 11 anniversary. Tens of thousands of fans gathered in each stadium across the nation where games were played, and fans enjoyed a slice of Americana despite the fact that large public gatherings are always considered potential targets for terrorist attacks.

In the air, fighter jets shadowed two commercial airliners after tips were received about suspicious activities.

But the Sept. 11 anniversary and related observations went off without incident. Perhaps the lessons learned in the wake of the tragedy help keep us safe and aware of the potential dangers that exist.

Regardless, Americans will always remember the events of that day, but refuse to live in fear because of them.