New Delhi, Nov 26: India is all set to observe the first anniversary of the ghastly 2008 Mumbai terror attacks on Thursday, Nov 26.
On this day, the country comes together to remember one of the darkest days of the country's history, to pay homage to those killed in the irrational brutality and to hope that the nation would never have to witness something like this ever again.
Even though the calender says it has been a year since the 26/11 attacks, the memories of the attacks are still fresh in the minds of Indians as they have etched themselves deep into the collective consciousness of the country.
Everyone who saw the events unfold through televisions can recall how India's financial capital was turned into a scene of massacre by a group of ten terrorists.
While Couple of terrorists sprayed bullets inside the tourist hot spot Cafe Leopold intentionally targeting foreigners, two other perpetrators attacked Nariman House targeting the American Jews.
The images of thick smoke emerging from Hotel Taj indicating that the terrorists have used their hand grenades, to the sounds of bullets from Oberoi Hotel, and the blasts in taxis killing scores of people- these are the scenes India remembers.
People across the country and the world who were sitting at home glued to Television sets felt a sense of utter helplessness.
Millions of prayers for the safety of hostage were sent out that night as the visuals of people calling for help from the windows of he building devastated those watching.
In the 60-hour long terror attack, over 170 people were killed and several hundreds were wounded. The army, the NSG commandos and the police had killed nine of the ten attackers and took lone surviving terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab into custody.
The people, who were cheering for the Indian batmen playing against England shortly before the attack started, celebrated the success of the operations and cheered for the commandos on the streets.
Brave policemen such as Anti-terror squad chief Hemant Karkare, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte were also killed during the operations, which finally ended on Nov 29.
But the damage was done. In 60-hours, the terrorists ravaged India's sense of security as the attacks raised serious doubts on the Indian security cover. Ten masked gunmen tore down the country's 'peaceful and peaceloving' image, and struck terror in the hearts of Indians.