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

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The Great Lakes

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

A Welcome Home

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Beauty in Diversity

Image: Getty Images

Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Big Apple

Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Big Country

Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Space Explorers

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

Image: Public Domain

An American Pasttime

Jim Rogash/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Everyday Heroes

Image: Flickr Commons

D Dipasupil/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Equal Rights For All

Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Highway 1

Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

America the Brave

Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images