Yesterday I received my jury duty reimbursement for a week spent as Juror #1 in Maricopa County Superior Court, sitting in the jury box, listening, taking notes, deliberating. The check amounted to $84.06 – certainly not a salary that would motivate one want to become a full-time juror. But the dedication statement listed on the check receipt was so dignified, so inspiring, so all-in-capital-letters-distinguished, it made me pause and reflect on our fast approaching Independence Day:
JUDITH ANNE GROUT
A MAJOR STRENGTH OF OUR AMERICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM IS WIDESPREAD COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN THE COURTS. AS A JUROR YOU HAVE REPRESENTED THE VERY ESSENCE OF THAT PRINCIPLE. THANK YOU
So, this week, as we celebrate the most meaningful of national holidays and review the hallowed words of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, it’s comforting to know the art of our writing is one of those core elements that preserves our culture. Each of us, in our own fashion, crafts words that perhaps inspire, hopefully enlighten, maybe entertain…the list goes on and on. We have traded our founders’ parchment papers for our keyboards, but our work to preserve our freedom of speech is just as important today as it was centuries ago. So, appreciate the special value of your printed words, the thing you have created, and Happy Fourth of July.