The two numbers by themselves are simply that….numbers.  But when you say or write 9-11 together they are more than just numbers but rather an instant reminder of that horrific day eleven years ago that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans, 749 of them from New Jersey and many from the shore area. 

It was a day very similar to today in that it was remarkably clear…about as perfect a day as you can have.  The sun shined brightly but it was dry without a hint of humidity. Just a perfect late summer day.

Of course we all know what happened and we all remember where we were when we first heard the news that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.  Most of us had already started our work day while young people were in school on that Tuesday morning and we quickly searched for information on radio and television.

At some point most were glued to the TV when the first tower collapsed and then the second, something seemingly impossible before we saw it with our own eyes.  Of course there was also horror at the Pentagon in Washington DC and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and we all feared what and where was next.  By that evening families gathered around their televisions watching rescue efforts that for the most point would be fruitless and what I will always remember was that cloud of smoke and dust that hung over Ground Zero and New York City.

As unforgettable as that day still is the truth is today will be like any other for most of us.  We took that vow that we would never forget and maybe we haven’t but this anniversary will pass with little attention or reflection by the majority of us.  It’s no different than with other unforgettable moments like the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor and the November 22nd assassination of John F. Kennedy.  Time has moved on and as each year passes you have to search harder to learn the significance of that date.

However to those loved ones and friends of 9-11 victims today and every other anniversary is quite different.  They still live with the pain and while it might get a bit easier each year the bad feelings will truly never go away.  Those near 3,000 victims have now grown by leaps and bounds because of the subsequent war in Afghanistan which has seen another 2,000 plus innocent Americans killed.

Let’s not forget the first responders to have also given their lives….all victims of a single day, a day we should never forget: 9-11.