Wednesday morning was as bright a day's beginning as it was on Sept. 11, 2001 when, on a Tuesday, two planes crashed into the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center, killing thousands inside.
The irony of that day's bright beauty unleashing an epic, dark tragedy is rarely forgotten.
Wednesday was no exception. The remembrances 12 years later were quiet ones with, perhaps, a different message for a new era.
"Typically, the memorial ceremonies on this day have had a healing purpose," Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. "Now, I think we've reached that turning point where people are moving forward. However, it's important that we 'never forget' and always take time on this day view the day as a remembrance and educational tool."
On this morning, 12 years later, the air was thicker, there were no dark clouds of ash chasing the fearful, no acrid stench of looming terrorism.
The air was clear and there was peace, solemnity and remembrance rather than the forceful flush of pain and fear that coursed through America on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
Flying flags at half mast, flowers and symbols of love, like a typical day's start cup of coffee and a bagel, left at memorial sites, people remembered ... to "never forget."