Thursday, September 10, 2009

In years to come

I will tell my grandchildren these things about this date.

Where I grew up in New Jersey, if you went up in a tall building and looked east, you could see the cranes building the Twin Towers with the naked eye.

My best job in law school was reading wills in a state office half-way up the South Tower. From the cafeteria windows on the next floor, the Statue of Liberty looked about six inches tall.

When their grandfather called me with the terrible news, I continued working in my home office for half-an-hour before I turned the TV on and let the terrible details into my life.

For all that, my clearest memory of 9/11 isn't from 2001.

It's from 1982, and my mind's eye, there's a young man singing on his way down the hill down to lunch. Jon Randall was only a passing college acquaintance, but he was a vivid, vital presence all over campus, and his absence at reunions is the place where three thousand deaths that mattered to our shared world converge with one death that still matters to my personal one.

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