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Editor's note: This was written by Kiber Chewning, 12, a student at Crystal River Middle School after the recent death of her grandfather.

Have you noticed that some of the greatest and most memorable moments happen in times of tragedy? Look at September 11. That day killed millions of people and their families' hearts along with them.

But look at us now; we've become a lot stronger, united, and patriotic country. We all want to show signs of support for our country whether it's joining the army, volunteering at ground zero or even just putting American flags by the front door, or wearing red, white and blue every Sept. 11.

When my grandpa died of course it was really upsetting, but it was like a big family reunion where everybody got to see everybody. Now my family is closer than I can ever remember. I know my grandpa would have wanted that.

Some of the greatest moments that I will always remember about my grandpa are some of his last, like when he got to see his dog for the last time. A great tragedy always teaches you a lesson no matter what the size or depth of a tragedy and that's (to) live life to the fullest and never take anything for granted.

Some lives aren't lived for more than a day and others seem to last an eternity. To me it doesn't matter because it's the little gestures and actions of love and kindness that really last an eternity _ not how long you live.

PHOTO, Photo courtesy of Fran Chewning

Kimber Chewning, 12, was moved by the death of her grandfather, who was a veteran, to write a piece connecting his patriotism to that shown after the events of Sept. 11, 2001.