I recently had jury duty. The number on my badge is one of the evocative ones, and made me think of a souvenir that was available in the gift shop in the building where my cousin used to work. Today’s object is that little pewter pin that I decided to wear above my badge while on duty.
This prime number. The sequence of digits that the FCC decreed in the 1970’s to herald and imply a call of distress via telephone, like “SOS” (di-di-dit da-da-dah di-di-dit) was the distress call of the telegraph. This number even visually resembles the former towers that come to every American’s mind when they hear the number. I wonder if the attackers considered any of this when choosing the date nine years ago.
The number has almost religious significance in our culture. Although most of the court folk — lawyers, clerks, fellow jurors — hailed me as “nine-eleven”, but one particular sheriff called out this, and only this, three digit number as three individual digits: “Nine-one-one”.
My cousin is fine. He got a different job after the first serious attack on those buildings in 1993.