Folks of my parents' generation remember where they were, what they were doing in the tumultuous '60s when brothers John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy were shot, and similarly when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
Many people probably also remember what was happening in their lives when the space shuttle Challenger blew up, when an attempt was made on Ronald Reagan's life, John Lennon was killed outside the Dakota, when Kurt Cobain ended his life and when Lady Diana perished in a car wreck.
But for Generations X and Y, the galvanizing where-were-you-when moment has to be the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
I remember it rather vividly.
I moved to the Myrtle Beach area in June 2001, so I was still getting used to my environs and my job as entertainment and pop culture reporter when I showed up to work at The Sun News newsroom that morning.
I got to my desk, and nothing seemed too abnormal, except my boss yelled "a plane rammed into the World Trade Center!"
Still a little foggy, for I've never been much of a morning person, I heard, "a train ran into the Trade Center."
There was a buzz and commotion in the newsroom and I turned to look at one of the TVs mounted on the wall as someone scrambled to turn up the volume and I saw a plane slam into a high-rise building.
I thought it must be a replay - and clearly it was a plane, not a train.
But what I saw was the second plane of that infamous attack taking out the second WTC tower - in real time, not a replay of the first.
It got eerily quiet.
I felt numb, but will admit that I became particularly fearful when a plane crashed into the Pentagon and the airliner was downed in a Pennsylvania field.
What if the entire Eastern Seaboard was under attack - wouldn't we be vulnerable?
The rest of the day is a blur as the wheels of a typical media outlet - i.e. controlled chaos - took hold as we chased the stories, were holed up in countless meetings, answered a seemingly never-ending barrage of phone calls and produced a special afternoon extra edition of the newspaper.
I remember people crying, being freaked out and the term "surreal" being thrown around.
I also remember being at Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery at Broadway at the Beach later that same week drowning my sorrows with some colleagues and an impromptu rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" broke out among patrons suddenly filled with patriotic pride - the first and last time I ever witnessed anything like this in a pub.
It's hard to believe that the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks is upon us, but Sunday does indeed mark that game-changing, life-altering event.
Nothing has been, or ever will be, the same.
And with so many Northeastern transplants calling the Myrtle Beach area home, it's not too surprising to find some locals with first-hand experience at Ground Zero and impacted directly by the attacks.
Case in point: Brendan O' Connor and Mike Milne, two retired New York City cops who were on duty that fateful day, but who have subsequently moved to the Grand Strand and perform in the musical duo Band on the Rum, so we dispatched correspondent/Music Notes columnist Paul Grimshaw to get their - and other locals' - accounts of the day that turned everyone's lives upside down, and you can read his report starting on page 12.
Writes Grimshaw in this week's cover story, "Easy going, funny, wisecracking New Yorkers through and through, O'Connor, 43, and Milne 55, temper the pain of remembrance with staying busy and moving on with their lives. They both recall all too clearly how that day unfolded."
In addition, Band on the Rum is performing at Sunday's 10th annual 9-11 benefit at Dead Dog Saloon - an event I've attended a couple of times - and for more details on that, including the entertainment schedule, turn to page 13.