Another ‘Day in Infamy’

Published 7:16 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

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As usual, no television blared the morning news.

Early morning is my quiet time, my thinking time.

My plans for September 11, 2001, were to have lunch with a friend from Montgomery. I was looking forward to that.

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The telephone rang.

“Turn on the television,” said my friend who knew I was not watching. “Go right now; something terrible has happened.”

Something terrible had happened. A plane had crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower.

Was the crash an accident? Had the United States been attacked?

Minutes later, another plane crashed into the World Trade Center’s South Tower.

The realty set in.

Standing looking at the television images, I remembered the picture show, “The Day the World Stood Still.” It was terrifying but not in the same sense that the news about the World Trade Center attacks was being delivered and received. You can walk away from a picture show but there was no way to walk away from the reality of the scenes on the television.

For sure, all Americans, all the world, was in shock. The World Trade Center had been attacked. Nothing would or could ever be the same.

But, it was a work day. I had a meeting with a lady in Banks. Why I was there, I don’t remember. We sat together watching the tragedy of 9-11 as did  tens of thousands of others in workplaces, in restaurants, in malls and in schools and in homes. We were all one and the same on September 11, 2001

September 11 was reality. It was visual but it was incomprehensible.

Looking back, my parents and grandparents remembered the radio news broadcast when Pearl Harbor was bombed. I envisioned how that must have been. Families were gathered around their radios when President FDR spoke the words, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy.” They could not have known that on September 11, 2001, those words would ring true again.

I know generations past would share in the sadness that prevails on, yet, another “day that will live in infamy.” Probably, to a one, they would say, “I’m glad I didn’t live long enough to see that.”

Perhaps, the hope of all generations today is that we don’t live long enough to see another “day in infamy.”