Almost 11 years separate us from that unforgettable September day when the airliners crashed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.
That's a goodly amount of time.
Enough time, for some of us, that the immediate aftermath, and in particular America's military action in Afghanistan, has lacked the obvious connection that it once had.
But no more.
The news that a soldier from Baker City, Army Spc. Mabry Anders, was killed in action in Afghanistan on Aug. 27 erased our collective complacency in a way reminiscent of the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.
That event's malevolent legacy lingers.
Mabry Anders was barely 10 years old when those two planes took down the World Trade Center.
A boy who on that day might never have heard of Afghanistan, grown to a man who died trying to make sure that we, the lucky ones at home, would never suffer such a fate again.
The response to Mabry's death has been heartening. We were proud to see some 2,000 people turn out Monday morning as the casket bearing his body traveled from the Baker City Airport through the heart of town.
We won't pretend to have known Mabry. We must let those who loved him tell us, and others, about him.
We do, though, feel justified in extending to Mabry a simple, and unfortunately posthumous, sentiment.