As a History buff that studied all American history dating back to the Revolutionary War period, I was always fascinated by our times of conflict. Although I grew up during the Cold War era and was a young adult during Desert Storm, I really had never felt personally impacted by strife in our country. My life was really on the back end of Vietnam. My father quit high school at 17 years old to join the fighting in World War II, buoyed by the events of December 7, 1941 in which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called a “day that will live in infamy.” Even for a History major, these were really just words. Until September 11, 2001.
I remember this day 12 years ago so clearly. Barb and I were abut 6 months into our new home. The girls were getting ready to go to school – Mindy had just started junior high and Kelli was finishing her last year in grade school. I was getting ready to head out with my boss to a meeting being held in Gig Harbor by Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance. I wasn’t really looking forward to it, but I was ready for another Mariners game that night as they were having an historic season.
We received a call from one of our friends frantic about not sending her daughter to school that day. She was nearly hysterical. I tried to calm her down to understand her as she told me we were under attack. New York and Washington DC were targets. I thought she had lost her mind. She asked me, “haven’t you you been watching TV?” The answer was no. I usually didn’t in the morning. Barb and I quickly turned it on and watched in stunned disbelief and horror. Our “Day of Infamy” had arrived.
It’s 12 years later and I still feel affected. I am sure I always will. I didn’t know anyone that lost their life that day, nor anyone who lost someone. But in a very real sense, I feel like I knew every single person that died that day. We all lost family and friends.
It’s been nearly 72 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor. Generations have come and gone. I can say that even though I was only born about 20 years later, it never carried the weight I am sure it did for my father and his contemporaries. There are children in a 4th grade classroom somewhere today that weren’t yet born on September 11, 2001. As time goes on, I hope that we that who were there, physically and emotionally, will forever continue to remember and pray for the victims and their families. We owe it to them and to the generations that come. It was for us, a day that will forever live in infamy.
Prayers to all the victims and their families on this solemn remembrance.
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