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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11th, 2001

I remember driving to Detroit for a child support hearing the morning of Tuesday, 09/11/2001.  I was just about downtown on I-75, when the "Imus in the Morning" show reported an odd story about a "commuter" plane that had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

The matter was being reported in those early moments as an errant plane.  The discussion was about near misses that happen more than we realize.

As Don Imus described what he was seeing on the video monitors, his entire radio show crew erupted when the second jet struck the South Tower.  I slammed my fist into the empty passenger seat of my car, shouting in disbelief.  Along with the rest of the country, I knew instantly what was unfolding in New York was no accident.

By the time I parked my car, cleared security at the Penobscot Building, and made it up to the 9th floor to the Wayne County Friend of the Court, the Pentagon had been struck by another jet and everyone was talking about being under attack.

Everyone's plans changed that day.  Some people were saying that yet another hijacked jet was heading due West toward Cleveland and Detroit.

The FOC hearing room was packed with people associated with more than a dozen cases.  Thinking I would be trapped there all morning, I started to worry about what was happening in New York and Washington D.C.  My brother Terrance lived in Manhattan back then; was he ok?  Could I even find out?

Waiting for the Referee to take the bench, I tried Terrance's cell; no answer.  I tried a second call; this time Verizon did not even make the connection.

By a stroke of luck, my case was called first.  Just as we completed our arguments and received our ruling from the Referee, two Wayne County Sheriffs announced that the Penobscot Building was closing and instructed us to vacate in an orderly but immediate fashion.  Mine was the only case called on the docket that day.

Back on the street, all the intersections were choked with vehicles like it was 5:00 on a Friday afternoon; folks were literally fleeing the downtown area.  So this is what it feels like to be under attack in America.

Later, I found out my brother Terrance had plans to play tennis at courts located near the World Trade Center that morning; they cancelled their plans due to some puddles from a rain storm that lingered on the courts.

Thinking back on it now, while I stood there chirping to the Referee about eliminating my client's child support obligation for children that DNA results said were not even his, those heroes from Flight 93 wrestled control of their jet, executing some major league damage control from which every citizen in this country has benefitted.

In my mind at least, I have always held the belief that Flight 93 was destined for the Capitol Rotunda. We still have our beloved Capitol, the very soul of Democracy, thanks to those men and women on Flight 93.

Now, let's make it count people; we've got to make it count...

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