(CNN) -- Today marks 6 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Matthew Simons lit a candle at this Carrolton, Kentucky, memorial Tuesday to commemorate the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Each year since, the United States has paused for commemorations and to hear the names of the victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania read aloud.
We asked CNN.com readers to share their thoughts on the annual observances and how long they should continue. Below is a selection of those responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity.
Karen Whaley of Jacksonville, North Carolina
For years we have promised the victims we'd never forget. I think the memorials should continue. This is the 6th year and it still feels like it happened yesterday. I just can't imagine not doing anything in honor of those that have lost their lives.
Diane Carslon of Stewartville, Minnesota
I am not sure if the memorials should continue, or if they should be every five years. Families and survivors who were affected should decide that. I know I think of them often and wonder where they are now, how are they doing.
Steven Winslow of Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
I think that the annual observances of those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks should continue on in perpetuity. We must never forget what happened, never give in to terror, and never forget that freedom is we must fight to preserve. Sacrificing liberty undermines everything that we as a country stand for and everything that those on 9/11 died for.
Alexis Kunold of Raleigh, North Carolina
When is enough? I don't think we can measure that. Time is the healing force. I think as long as we feel the need to remember that day, so it should be. 9/11 was a horrific day and one that felt like a very bad movie. I kept thinking that I would wake up and it would bad dream. I don't think you can measure the healing to something that catastrophic. I still feel a need to remember ... at least for those who dies such an appalling death.
Jahari Davis of Farmington Hills, Michigan
I will likely take a lot of heat for this but I'm going to say it anyway. I think its time we moved on and moved forward from this. We did it after Pearl Harbor. We did it after JFK, MLK, and RFK. We can do it after 9/11. I just wish the president would stop reopening the wound for political cover so we can heal.
Matt Bailey of Tuscaloosa, Alabama
I think this is the most important day of the year. I cannot believe today is not a national holiday. May we never forget. God bless America
Toni Patton of Reading, Pennsylvania
Today is not a day to forget. I realize that we cannot change the past and life does go on, but for one day we can stop and remember the victims. I did not lose anyone close on that day, but as an American, we all lost something. We should forever remember what happened that day.
Today should not be recognized anything more than 9/11. To put a name on it, like Patriot Day, only materializes it. Like Memorial Day, where most people have a family picnic or the tire sale at the local mechanic. Is that how we remember the innocent people who died that day? No -- never forget.
Tim Long of Tampa, Florida
I believe we should keep the observances until the Iraq war ends and especially until Osama bin Laden is found. Americans need to realize the reasons of why we are in this war. We never started this!! Life in our country will never be the same and only stopping now will allow terrorist to win. Our citizens that perished should have a final rest observance when the war ends.
Mark Stahurski of Export, Pennsylvania
I am a tenth grade history teacher at a school outside of Pittsburgh, Pa. For Patriot Day I plan to give my students my first hand account of what I was doing on that fateful day, and what the thought was around America, because most of them are too young too remember what was going on. The plane that crashed in Shanksville actually flew over the university that I was attending at the time.
I am also going to tell them about all of the unborn children of September 11th that never got to meet their family members that perished that day. We are going to watch a video about all the survivors and their stories; also we are going to write essays on what it means to be an American to me. My thoughts and prayers still go out to those families that lost loved ones, and we should never forget them.
Julie Couret of Metairie, Louisiana
I think we absolutely should continue observances as long as Americans value the freedom and justice our countries stand for. Should we stop honoring our Vets? Should we "move on" from the 4th of July and all it stands for? Citizens are misinformed if they believe that these type holidays did not come at a price, the price of human life.
Calvin Washechek of Phoenix, Arizona
This day on our calendars is now referred to as "Patriot Day" and calling it such may temporarily ease the lingering pain of those horrific events, but the shameful truth of that day haunts us like the proverbial "elephant in the room."
Countless Americans who were close to "ground zero" have sustained the harmful effects of asbestos and suffer from its affects. Many of them have died since 9/11 and others carry with them the emotional scars of the walking wounded.
Lynn Cole of Brockport, New York
The annual observances should never end. I know I will never forget, and I live in a small town in upstate New York. Appropriate memorials should be established at each spot with all the names, and room in NYC for names of rescuers and others impacted physically by the debris and dust.
Al Davidson of West Hartford, Connecticut
To add to the horrific memories I have of that day... I can't help but think that now 6 years later we still have an administration who continues to try link justification of the war to 9/11. I wish I could just memorialize what happened on that day without feeling the anger and disgust I have for how Bush used this tragedy for his own agenda.
Tony Persaud of Loganville, Georgia
It's been 6 years, I have moved far from the WTC grave site but I will never forget that dreadful day that changed our lives. I have yet to return to site for closure, maybe I will or maybe I will take to my grave. So many friends and families killed, life will never be the same.
Maria Aguila of Jacksonville, Florida
I was 7 months pregnant with our 1st child, and I was such a conflict of emotions; I was deeply saddened and horrified about bringing my child into this world of terror and hatred yet elated to be bringing in new life and hope to the world. That day, I made a vow -- a vow to teach my child to be fearless with love, respect all human life as life is precious, respect all faiths, religions, ethnicities, cultures and beliefs yet always stand strong for justice and basic human rights.
Lisa Mangini of Cary, North Carolina
It seems small for such a large day to simply send my thoughts & prayers to the families & friends who lost loved ones on 9/11 -- but it is all I can do. Although I may now live in NC -- my father was retired NYPD and I was born and raised in Long Island -- so no matter where I live I am still a New Yorker. Let us never forget!
Gina Clifton of Orlando, Florida
I will always remember that day. My family and I are mourning the loss of life terrorists caused that day. I believe the memorials should continue for the next generation. This is the anniversary of the day that forever changed America for better or worse. My thoughts and prayers go to the survivors and our troops fighting to ensure our freedoms.
Barbara Runcie of Kalamazoo, Michigan
How long should the annual observances continue? Forever. We should never, ever again let complacency take over. Never again labor under a false sense of security. For truly, if we do not learn from history's mistakes we are doomed to repeat them.
Tess Foley of Monroe, Connecticut
I was a Red Cross volunteer at the rescue center at the World Trade Center. I will never forget what I saw in the aftermath of the rescue work; which was still a rescue effort in those early days.
I think that September 11 should be a National Day of Mourning and Remembrance.
Rob Van Keulen of Grand Rapids, Michigan
9/11 should be remembered annually. That one day has been indelibly forged on our memories. Like 12/09/41, 11/11/1918, 9/11/2001 is a watershed day in the history of our country. The declaration of war against terror should therefore also continue as long as there are rogue states who by their actions degrade human life, culture and most importantly the freedom of their citizens.
James Sherman of York, Pennsylvania
As we take time to reflect and honor those who were lost, I believe that it is important to remember that all of us are victims of that tragic day 6 years ago. Let us not forget to take the time to honor ourselves and loved ones as "survivors" and to thank the brave men and women in the military who continue to fight to enable us to "survive" and live in a free country.
Joanne McKay of Riverdale, Georgia
As I sit here at my desk at work, I remember vividly that day --September 11, 2001. As I heard on the news of those planes crashing deliberately and so violently into the Twin Towers, my heart fell to the floor. Immediately I dropped to my knees and began praying. I prayed like there was no God in heaven. I cried uncontrollably. I wept for those on that plane and in those people in those buildings. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about those that are lost. Those brave, beautiful souls are gone, but not forgotten.
The annual observances should continue because it's a constant reminder of how blessed we are to be free. Each day we live and breath should be for those many thousands killed and murdered so savagely that were taken from this earth. It is a day that no one should ever forget. I never will. E-mail to a friend
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