12 Photos That Make You Proud To Be An American, On The 9/11 Anniversary And Every Day

It's been 13 years since the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. On Thursday, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is open for the anniversary of the attacks for the first time. And while the institution is no doubt an emotional reminder of the horrific events of that day, it also serves as a monument of the strength the United States exhibited in response.

Terrorists may have destroyed our landmarks and killed thousands, but they didn't succeed in destroying our spirit. Time and time again, we Americans have exhibited our resilience in the face of adversity, hardship, and terror. From first responders sacrificing their own lives to help others after the Twin Towers came down, to the missionaries who look danger in the eye every day while helping Ebola patients in West Africa, and the regular folks who make history by protesting in support of equal rights for all — we should be proud to call ourselves Americans.

On 9/11 and every day, celebrate our country and its people by taking a visual tour of what makes America great. There's beauty in the details, large and small. These images depict what it means to be American. Prepare to be inspired.

Classic American Diner

The Great Lakes

A Welcome Home

Image: Waly 1039

Beauty in Diversity

Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Image: Getty Images

The Big Apple

The Big Country

Space Explorers

Sally Ride broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman in space in the 1980s.

Image: Flickr Commons

An American Pasttime

Everyday Heroes

Image: Flickr Commons

Equal Rights For All

Highway 1

America the Brave

Image: Flickr Commons