Wednesday, May 03, 2006

If you have turned on your television lately I’m sure you know about United 93. United 93 details the September 11th flight that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. While the families of those passengers who lost their lives on that flight seem firmly behind, I doubt I will ever see it. I might be more interested in the events of September 11th 2001 weren’t so fresh in my mind.

I was sitting at my job when they came across the radio and announced that a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. There was much speculation about whether we were being attacked or if was an accident. When the second plane struck the other tower all talk of it being an accident ceased.

Then came word of a crash at the Pentagon and then a plane down in Pennsylvania. The media were overwhelmed. A nation sat in shock. The rest of the day was watching and listening to the media scramble for facts and show those horrifying images of the planes slamming into the World Trade Center towers and eventually the footage of the towers collapsing again and again.

I remember getting home from a college class that evening and not being able to get into my own driveway. We live just two doors down from a gas station. People were panicked that soon gas would be four or five dollars a gallon. The line stretched back as far as I could see. According to police reports two people even got into fights over the gasoline.

I finally got into my driveway and sat down to watch the news a bit more. I was like that cliché, a deer caught in the headlights. I didn’t finally turn away until CBS showed footage of someone falling to their death. At least that’s what Dan Rather told me it was. I stopped watching. In fact I avoided the news in general for quite a while. I skipped the benefit concerts and all the specials. I was numb to it all.

The evening of September 11th I did one thing that was in hindsight a bit out of the ordinary. I sent out e-mail to a few friends urging them to do things to help people and assist in the recovery and the healing. I soon found out I was in a vast minority. It seemed as if the rest of the nation wanted to turn the entire Middle East into a glow in the dark parking lot. Fear does feed anger rather well though. So even though I didn’t condone it, I understood.

Another reason I probably won’t see this movie is the reasons some are telling us we should. They’re saying that we can never forget the tragedy of that day and we must not forget how evil our enemies are. I hate to break the bad news to anyone but we’ve already forgotten our enemies. Don’t believe me? OK then, tell me where Osama Bin Laden is.

Also what purpose is there in reliving that awful day over and over? Does being reminded of all that death and destruction of that day serve any real purpose? Even before that day anyone who was familiar with foreign affairs knew that Osama Bin Laden was a threat to America. Certainly he attacked on an incredible scale. But we knew he wanted to strike in the United States. He just struck with more force then we allowed ourselves to think he could.

I have nothing against remembrances for those who lost their lives on that day either. In fact, I rather like Keith Olbermann’s idea of just rebuilding both World Trade Center towers and making one of them exactly one inch shorter for each life lost that day. It would be a fine tribute. I just have zero desire to see that day re-enacted. I’ve seen enough footage of the event. I have no need to see Hollywood’s version.

In all fairness I usually don’t go see movies that re-enact horrible historic events. I did not rush to see Schindler’s List or The Passion of the Christ or Saving Private Ryan. In fact of those three I have only seen Schindler’s List and that was just because I didn’t have anything else to watch on television. I get it. War and death and Nazis are bad. I do not need it beaten into me by Hollywood or Washington.

Of course I know why some want us to go see this movie and revive those feelings from that terrible day. I’ve noticed it’s all come from the right wing to. They want everyone all back in their box of fear and give President Bush back all the political capital he squandered. President Bush has an unprecedented opportunity to make the world truly a better place. He blew it.

I’m certain anyone who is old enough to remember September 11th 2001 will never forget it. So please spare me all the reminders.


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