Eighteen Years

I try not to make solemn days of remembrance about myself. But I recently had jury duty, which is why I’m bending that rule on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. September, 2001 was the last time I had jury duty until this summer.

In 2001, you were obliged to serve the entire month, which largely consists of sitting in the over-cooled basement room called the juror’s lounge. It’s uncomfortable so little actual lounging happens there.

I recall hearing a gasp from one of our keepers, followed by a rush to turn on the teevee set. That’s when we saw for the first time the sickening sight of the airplanes taking out the Twin Towers. We were all numb and the room went silent as Dan Rather came onscreen looking shaken and somewhat disheveled.

We were dismissed for the day and eventually for the month. Nobody at Orleans Criminal District Court felt like trying any cases 18 years ago today. It was time to mourn our dead.

My friend Parenthetical wrote a guest post here in 2017. I think he summed my feelings about 9/11 quite well this morning:

Thinking today about everyone involved who didn’t see it coming and got away from it, and thankful for everyone who signed up for any kind of job where you realize what happened and run towards it.

He went on to quote Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising:

Can’t see nothin’ in front of me
Can’t see nothin’ coming up behind
Make my way through this darkness
I can’t feel nothing but this chain that binds me

Lost track of how far I’ve gone
How far I’ve gone, how high I’ve climbed
On my back’s a sixty pound stone
On my shoulder a half mile of line

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Left the house this morning
Bells ringing filled the air
I was wearin’ the cross of my calling
On wheels of fire I come rollin’ down here

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

The last word goes to Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band:

 

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