Some number of years ago I had the honor of making the acquaintance of a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  A young seaman then stationed on the battleship Nevada, he related his story, his memories.  And as he talked about the aching beauty of that peaceful Sunday morning – of standing at quarters for morning Colors, and of how he still remembered the sound of the bugler’s notes right before the first bomb fell, I wondered.

I wondered how I would feel and react to a similar situation if it happened to me.

And I think I now know…and will never forget.

Never forget my shipmates lost in the Navy Operations Center:

Here are our shipmates who were lost in the Navy Operations Center (NOC) {note: N513 will be posted 10 Sept}.  Look closely and ponder the slice of America they represent – from every corner of the country, some first generation immigrants who were refugees of war – others from a long line that has served this country.  None of them anticipated their fate when they left for work that morning from their homes in Virginia, Maryland or the District.  From all walks of life they had come to serve – and ultimately to unexpectedly die together. E Pluribus Unum.  Indeed, out of many, one.  Rest in peace… (More here: Fallen Shipmates – Part I)

Never forget my folks from N513, also lost in the Navy Operations Center:

N513 is (was) the Strategy & Concepts branch, part of the N51 Strategy & Policy Division of N3N5. N513’s personnel were the folks who looked at “the big picture” focusing on warfighting concepts and maritime strategies in defense of the US and our Allied partners. This is the branch that in the past had worked on the Maritime Strategy and provided the basis of the Navy’s input to the National Security Strategy among other vital documents.  On Sept 11th we lost a majority of the folks in N513 including the branch chief, CAPT Bob Dolan… (More here: Fallen Shipmates – Part II)

Never forget that day:

Tuesday, 11 Sep 2001 0937:25. Reflexively I glanced at my watch at the moment of impact, burning the time into my memory as I passed to my boss who was in Memphis for a promotion board that we had just been struck.

“Sir, looks like we’ve been hit pretty bad – I have to go. Will try to reach you via cell as possible.”

And with that I completed a voice report that I never imagined I would be making from a shore station. Over the years, through ramped up tensions during the Cold war and in the Gulf I always had in the back of my mind the possibility of having to make just such a call. Never under these conditions…

(Part I)

(Part II)

Never forget the 2996 men, women and children lost that day:

The 2996 Project Post: CAPT Bob Dolan, USN (Pentagon) and Mr. Colin Arthur Bonnett (WTC)



… And never forget all those left behind.  I pray that you will remember them all in your thoughts and prayers this week.



  1. Thanks for putting this up, SJS. I was thinking to myself tonight that the anniversary was fast approaching and I had yet to see anything about it in either the media or my usual round of blogs. I’d just gotten done reading my old posts on the subject and was headed over here to dig through your archives to find your descriptions and memories of that day.

    I think I just must have known on a subconscious level that you’d have something up. BZ

  2. Steeljawscribe


    Thanks for your note — it is our intent to continue around this time each year… have been invited to the dedication service or the Pentagon Memorial on the 11th and will update the post afterwards.
    – SJS

  3. Claudio


    thanks for keeping the memories alive.


  4. Desert Sailor

    Thanks for the moving memories you so well describe!!

    That day will always be a stark reminder to NEVER FORGET!

  5. Very nice, SJS. I’m afraid that our society has forgotten or at least chosen to ignore the evil that is out there just waiting for us to let our guard down.

  6. Thanks for your tribute!

    I posted one too.

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