Ms. Inglish has spent 30 years working in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, and aerospace education for Active USAF Civil Air Patrol.
A Historic Precursor: December 7, 1941
The insidious attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from the Japanese government while its officials were visiting in Washington DC is an event that Americans must not forget, although they have forgiven their invaders. America even helped with Reconstruction in Japan after the war.
The attack itself was a shock in many ways. America was stunned by the apparent duplicity of the Japanese as well as by the suprise occurence of the event itself. Pearl Harbor, like the World Trade Center 60 years later, was totally unprepared for bombing attacks.
After the Pearl Harbor attack, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war immediately. He did not call the names of Europe or of Germany in his request, but used his demand for war to work up to entering World War II full on. The September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City were not met with instant war action by the US Goverment and the President; and were not met with warfare until March, 2003.
Sixty Years Later, a New Infamy
After September 11, 2001 the Presidential reaction of George W. Bush was different. War was not declared until March, 2003, some 18 months later and some say, against the wrong foe.
The War in Iraq has remained long-term and controversial.
Presidential quotes then and now:
Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.
... I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us....
See: The Pearl Harbor Speech - Franklin Delano Roosevelt
On September 11 2001, America felt its vulnerability even to threats that gather on the other side of the Earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat from any source that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America.
- George Walker Bush
Experience Of History: I Remember 9/11
I remember this day, because it is the last day that I ever incurred a migraine headache or any headache at all. Why this is true is a mystery to me.
Speaking with my employer before 8:00 AM, I returned to sleep, waking at 3:00 PM without pain or nausea. I dressed and left home to go to a small market nearby. The street was unusually deserted that day, normally filled with high school youth at that hour.
As I entered the store, I heard the urgent voices of reporters on a radio located near the front door. Two clerks looked frantic. I asked what had happened and one simply shouted, "We're at war!" I was startled.
In truth, it would be 18 months before declared war. I often wondered, Why so long -- if it needs to occur?
Returning home, I switched on the TV to view the repeated reports of the visual atrocity of the World Trade Center bombings, complete with non-bleeped profanity that drove home the urgency and shock of the situation.
Between 4:00 and 6:00 PM, the local news filled with stories of the reactions of local viewing area residents --
A woman in her 40s living in one of the richer neighborhoods knew no one in the Trade Center Bombings, but suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized in the psych department of a local hospital. Other individuals became convinced that the terrorists were coming for them next.
No activities or events were cancelled in our town, the rationale being that the WTC bombings meant to stop and limit our usual activities. Still, some individals suffered panic attacks that prevented them from leaving their homes, while others used the disaster as an excuse to miss school, work, and volunteer commitments. it was all to be expected.
USS New York: Built From 9/11 WTC Wreckage
From my own perspective, I found that the WTC Attacks caused me to focus more determinedly on issues that have drawn my attention and volunteerism - programs to prevent abuse and violence, anti-bullying, equal rights, and health topics, along with church related support in Sudan.
I will not forget 9/11 and will not forget Pearl Harbor, though that was before my time. If we forget, we may more easily allow them to recur.
In the photo above on September 11, 2011 the new ship's crew aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) appear in the upper right quadrant. They stand at the rails and present traditional honors as the ship passes The World Trade Center and National September 11 Memorial and Museum in the lower left quadrant. It was a miraculous day in Manhattan.
Ship's Motto: 'Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.'
The newest ship called USS New York was built from 7+ tons of metal left by the destruction of the World Trade Centers on 9/11.
It is a warship.
Brilliant in design and capability though it is, some would prefer a more peaceful use of the metal. Still, it is a huge achievement, built in Louisiana, even through Hurricane Katrina. Workers stopped during the worst part of the disaster and returned to work as soon as humanly possible. This speaks to the determination of Americans not to be held back by attack and disaster.
The great warship/movable docking platform sailed into the harbor at New York City on November 2, 2009. She became an official military unit and ship of the United States Navy at formal commissioning on November 7.
This version of the USS New York will be on display until the end of Veteran's Day, November 11, 2009 at Pier 88 at the intersection of Manhattan's 12th Ave. and W. 48th St. Visitors must show a photo ID in order to tour the new vessel.
One day after military retirement, I hope she can be turned into a hospital ship.
© 2009 Patty Inglish MS
Thoughts and Comments
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 17, 2009:
@The Rope - I agree with you. They are simply haunting in nature to me as well.
@James - Thanks for commenting. Some people forget anyway, and that helps ideas like the "Holocaust never happened" movement. Thanks again!
James A Watkins from Chicago on November 17, 2009:
This is an excellent piece. I had a sickened feeling in my stomach the entire day of 9-11. Tragic terror. We should always remember and you've helped us do just that. Thank you.
The Rope from SE US on November 12, 2009:
I love reading everyone else's memories and takes on 9/11, thanks for sharing and for the the connections. I have heard of so many of us who now maintain a mental "list" of these days of infamy - it seems there always has to be at least one in each generation to get everyone to pull together.
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 11, 2009:
alekhouse and mistywild, thanks for posting comments.
I think that I can only feel worse for people that experienced both the Pearl Harbor attacks and the WTO attacks.
I remember the rolling clouds of gray smoke and dust/debris filling the streets time and time again on camera. It felt suffocating even on the other end of the TV at home. This scene brought back a particular nightmare I had as a young child. Nightmares as well as dreams can come true.
Thanks again for writing something here!
The 20-year celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall was also only a couple days ago. Powerful things are happening.
mistywild from Houston, TX (Proud Texan) on November 11, 2009:
oh, the horror of 9/11, on this day, Veterans Day, I am praying for the troops that are fighting for us at this moment. I was woken up right after the first plane hit, my best friend called me and INSISTED I WAKE THE HELL UP. I turned on the TV just as the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower. The image is burned in my brain, another image that I cannot shake is that of the people jumping from the towers, so heartbreaking, so devestating, so irreversable. I WILL NEVER FORGET.
Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on November 10, 2009:
Excellent hub, Patti. Such a well written documentation of a terrible event. I also remember 9/11 like it was yesterday, and where I was and what I was doing. Amazing
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 10, 2009:
dohn121 - I viewed a display of pictures drawn by K-5 grades in one school during the Gulf War and they were 90% about the end of the world through nuclear holocaust. That's sad. I'll read your Hub for certain.
Tammy - It had slipped my mind about the holiday. But I guess I am always thnking of our veterans and soldiers everywhere. Thanks for posting!
Tammy Lochmann on November 10, 2009:
Thanks for this on the eve of Veteran's Day and Remembrance Day. I always find it interesting that many people remember exactly what they were doing and where they were on 9/11. Thanks again-Tammy
dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on November 10, 2009:
Yes, I won't ever forget September 11, 2001 for as long as I'm alive, Patty. That was the first day I thought that the world was sure to end in a nuclear holocaust, as the thought struck me that we were now at war. I don't think I changed the channel on my TV (locked on MSNBC) for the next 2 weeks as I didn't want to miss out on any pertinent information regarding the crisis. I wrote a hub on 9/11 by the way, should you get the chance to read it. Thank you for sharing this, Patty. Great hub.