Today, September 11, 2009, marks the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Various events are being held in cities and towns all over the country to commemorate the event, many honoring the 3,000 people who died in the attacks. The day undoubtedly remains a difficult one for relatives and friends of those who perished or who had to flee from the affected areas that day, as well as for those involved in the rescue efforts. But how about the rest of us?

A telephone survey conducted by public opinion company Rasmussen Reports suggests, perhaps not surprisingly, that time heals wounds. The survey  found that 49 percent, or almost half of Americans believe the nation has forgotten the impact of 9/11.

The lives of many Americans have returned to normal since Sept. 11, 2001, albeit amidst greater security. Many things have changed as well, not the least of which is the breakneck pace of technology and communications developments which many of you are involved in making possible.

Semiconductor chips and electronic components continue to shrink and gain speed. Mobile phones have morphed into full-fledged voice, e-mail, and messaging devices. PCs are becoming smaller yet more powerful. And mediums such as Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter have become important business and social communications tools.

We are more connected than ever, with faster access to a broad range of information at our fingertips. But we are also processing more information than ever, to the point of overload. Are we losing our ability to take time out to stop and reflect on where we have been, where we are, and where we are going?

On September 11, 2001 and for days afterward, the nation stopped to reflect on the tragic events that reshaped our country. Hopefully such events will never happen again, but on this somber anniversary it may be a good idea to take a moment away from your instant messaging or twittering to think and reflect on the world then and now.