September 11, 2001 - my generations' Pearl Harbor
That morning I had reported for my first day of jury selection and after being excused from one case, was accepted to be on the jury for a another trial.
We had been sent into a little room awaiting the beginning of the trial, and one woman from the jury knocked her purse off a tall cabinet where she had placed it. Checking inside to make sure her cell phone was ok, she told us of a 'scrolling report' going across the screen that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Assuming it was a small plane, like a 4 seater or something, we were all trying to figure out how a pilot could fail to MISS the tower and decided that it must have been a student, but then .. why would a student be flying in that area, so maybe the pilot had a heart attack at the controls.
The room we were in was off a hallway in the courthouse ... and we started hearing people getting louder and louder, and .. since no one told us we had to 'stay' in that room, walked out and into the next office where workers were gathering, they had a tv. That's when we found out about the 1st tower. The bailiff came in, found us in our 'new room', and told us we were going to begin in about an hour. So we were allowed to go down to the cafeteria if we wished. That's when I went running for a phone .. called Dave to find out what the hell was going on and heard about the 2nd tower at that time. So I'm letting everyone in the immediate area know what was occurring -- we're all in shock but cannot get to anywhere we could hear or see the news and know anything more.
The trial began .. so our attention HAD to be turned elsewhere (and that was not an easy thing!). Broke for lunch .. but we were not sequestered .. so I went running for a phone again and called Dave. While we were on the phone, the first tower began it's collapse. That I 'yelled' out to anyone and everyone that was in the court corridor. Had to repeat it, and then everyone started running for the doors. There was a 'shopping mall' across the street .. and they would have banks of tv sets on in one of the electronic stores! I didn't leave the courthouse.
Then, we're excused early due to what was happening (we hadn't heard about the other incidents yet), and I'm in the car going home with radio on .. no music playing anywhere, just news reports and reporters trying to make sense of what had happened/was happening. That's when I heard about the Pentagon .. and burst into tears behind the wheel as Dave's granddaughter was interning with the FBI in Washington DC and had been going back and forth to the Pentagon. (she was fine)
Got home, ran into the house, and sat glued to the tv in shock for the rest of the evening. I don't remember eating, but I do remember calling Betsy Stinner as her daughter worked in that area of New York city. (she heard from her the next day - no way to get calls through on day 1.)
The next day trying to get INTO the courthouse was quite the event ... everything was on high alert. The trial went on an extra 2 days as the main witness was coming from California and of course .. no flights .. he had to drive. And from the second day on, we were sequestered and not allowed to talk on cell phones while on breaks there OR leave the building.
All in all, I was in this trial for a full week .. 2 days of it was spent totally in deliberation as we could not come to a verdict easily (at one point we jurors were yelling at each other so loudly they could hear us up and down the hall and the bailiff had to come in to see if everything was ok .. we were stressed to the max!).
It was so surreal. I think it was because we were 'outside' of our normal lives during the whole tragedy. Nothing seemed real - I was home glued to the tv by night. I was in a courthouse in close proximity with 11 other strangers during the day, no one we knew and outside of our work/home surroundings. We actually grew quite close to each other, yelling aside, and even had hugs and tears when jury duty was finally through.
The things I've really noticed since 9/11 ... we don't fly flags and show patriotism like we did for those days; we don't look out for each other (strangers) like we did for those days (at airports, etc); we don't pay attention to details like we did for those days; we no longer 'come together' as a nation like we did.
Apparently this will never happen again. ???????
Do you remember .... OR .... did you forget
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