Never forget....that is a common response when people here in the States recall the attacks on 9/11. It always comes back as some version of "We Shall Never Forget" and frankly it almost sounds cliche. But this time....it isn't a cliche and it never will be.
At the age of 50 years, I obviously was not around when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, plunging the United States into the greatest War (and Catastrophe) known to mankind. But I often wondered what a history altering event like that really felt like to live through....now I believe I know.
Living in Holland, Michigan at the time, put our house right on one of the busiest flight patterns in the U.S....between Chicago's O'Hare Airport and ALL point east. It was very common, normal really to have aircraft, often dozens at a time high above us at any time day or night. I vividly remember my X-Wife and I standing outside that night in stunning silence, right before President Bush poke to the Country and looking up to see a completely EMPTY sky. It was surreal....
I was in production management with responsibility for the 3rd shift team and went into work at the main Herman Miller, Inc. Factory in Zeeland MI, just as President Bush was speaking and it was eerie because nobody was around, they were all hovered over their radios at their workstations listening to the President. I could hear the Echo from a dozen boom boxes throughout the deserted looking factory. It was like the voice of history was speaking. I imagined listening to Franklin Roosevelt's Fireside War-Time Chats or Churchill's speeches during the Second World War.
I didn't need my knowledge of history to realize that this was a huge and historic day...we were attacked by an outside power on the shores of the Continental U.S. for the first time really since the British did it in the War Of 1812.
The memory of watching those images, as they were happening in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania and telling my wife on the phone that the World Trade Center had been hit are seered into my memory FOREVER...whether I like it or not.
So today...we certainly NEVER FORGET what happened 11 years ago. I think and pray for those people every single day...God Bless 'Em!