Remembering 9/11

Thirteen years ago, I was safe: in the bucolic hills of central Virginia, in a classroom at my law school, when everything happened.

Don’t think I can say anything about the day that haven’t been said before – other than I won’t ever forget it.

One thing I’ve done each 9/11 is go deep into my email archives to re-read an email that our law school dean sent on the afternoon of 9/11/2001.

Dean Jeffries is an exceptional lawyer and eloquent man, and I thought his message that day was just right. Re-reading it, each year, reminds me of how everyone was feeling that day, but also of the spirit of family and community that’s so special about my alma mater, UVA…and how important that is on tragic days like 9/11.

Fellow Members of the Law School Community:

Today’s events quite naturally preoccupy the attention of faculty, students, and staff. Many members of our community have relatives or loved ones whose safety is in doubt. They cannot be expected to carry on in the face of such uncertainty. The the best way to accommodate the situation in which we now find ourselves is to suspend official Law School activities for the remainder of the day.


I hope, however, that we shall soon be able to return to a Law School schedule as nearly normal as circumstances permit. Acts of terrorism are designed to intimidate and demoralize. The worst response that we as a community — or as a nation — could make to today’s attacks would be to acquiesce in the reaction they were designed to produce. Instead, we must remain steadfast and resolute.


In a few days, when the casualties are fully known, we are likely to find that members of our community have suffered grievous loss. To them, we shall extend our care, our support, our affection, and our understanding.


Anyone who has specific information is asked to communicate with the dean’s office so that we can do what we can to help.

John Jeffries

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General Counsel @ Automattic



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