Thomas Friedman in the Editorial section of the New York Times (free registration required) offers a 9/11 Lesson Plan for teachers having trouble deciding what to tell students on the anniversary. Friedman touches on the conflict between Islamic culture and modernity (which I view as ironic given our increasingly rapid shift towards post-modernity) and that "evil people hate us for who we are, many good people dislike us for what we do. And if we want to win their respect we need to be the best, most consistent and most principled global citizens we can be."
I have a bit of trouble with his point that "we didn't start this". We are engaged in the world and for every action we take in our perceived national interest, there are going to be ramifications and reactions. Some of those are going to come back and haunt us, indirect as they may be. We have to understand that as the 800 # gorilla in the world, we're going to piss off certain people and as a bull in a china shop, some dishes are going to get broken.