Monday, May 01, 2006

United 93

This weekend my wife & I went to see United 93. I felt like I was reliving September 11th. Initially, I wanted to be there with those people before they got on that plane. I wanted to relive, even if just for a few minutes, what life was like before the world was turned upside down.

My wife & I were watching the people boarding and wanting to just scream "DON'T GET ON THE PLANE!" Watching with frustration as the Air Traffic Controllers tried to figure out what was going on with all of the hijacked planes and watching in shock as the 2nd plane struck the 2nd tower.

I still remember that day-- it was a Tuesday, I had the day off but for some reason I got up around 8:30 am, quite early for a day off. I remember I logged on to check my email and saw a Yahoo headline saying "click here for the latest on the World Trade Center Bombing." Which really puzzled me, "what latest? The World Trade Center was bombed back in 1993! What possible new information could there be now?" I thought to myself. So clicked on the link and saw a picture of the World Trade Center with smoke billowing out the top of it. I knew something wasn't right-- The WTC had been bombed from its base in 1993, I'd NEVER seen any photos with smoke billowing out the top of either of the buildings.

So I jumped, yes literally jumped out of my chair, ran to the TV and turned it on and watched in horror as they replayed the footage of the 2nd plane striking the second tower. And then the news of the Pentagon, followed by news that the State Department was being evacuated due to a suspected bomb threat there. "What the hell is happening to my country?" I'd never seen my nation in such chaos, such confusion and panic. I remember watching in disbelief as each of the two towers came crashing down.

My wife and I sat there and cried through most of the film, clutching each others hands with white knuckles wishing desperately for a different ending than the one which we knew was coming. We watched as the passengers of United 93 formulated a plan and prevented 9/11 from becoming an even more disastrous day that it ended up being. And as the film blacked out at the end-- dead silence at first followed by a few scattered sniffles. No one said a word. Everyone stayed in their seats letting it all sink in and then-- slowly, quietly, everyone stood and filed out of the theater. Everyone was a little red and puffy around their eyes, some people were just nodding in disbelief-- still in shock that this had actually happened. It's been nearly five years now, and it still seems so unreal... so surreal.

Some will say, it's still too soon. Not enough time has passed. But if we let too much time pass, we will forget... and if we forget what happened on 9/11/01 WILL happen again-- and next time it could be worse.

14 comments:

:P fuzzbox said...

It was said long ago and is still true. If we do not remember our past then we are doomed to repeat it.

Bruce said...

I just can't bring myself to go to this movie. I couldn't even watch the A & E movie about the flight, and everytime I see pictures or video of the towers, I close my eyes or change the channel. It will never stop being too vivid for me; no matter how long I live.

Dantallion said...

I believe that going to this film is ever so slightly masochistic in a way. Until now, I've never thought of masochism as a necessity. But in this case I believe it is, just so we don't forget.

Green Eyes said...

I have not forgotten, and I cannot see this movie. Not yet, and maybe not ever...

St. Dickeybird said...

I'm going to see this film soon.

It's similar to our "Remembrance Day" up here in Canada.
The official slogan is 'Lest We Forget', so that our soldiers, like with United 93, don't get passed over.

Perplexio said...

fuzz: Exactly! I have to give the filmmakers credit, this movie would have been incredibly easy to fuck up and much more difficult to "get it right." Yet they succeded in getting it right.

Bruce: A lot of people share that opinion and I respect that. I just wanted to share for those of you who choose not to see it, that it was tastefully and respectfully done. I know one of the concerns was that it would be over-the-top and bombastic and totally off, like Hollywood is notorious for. And it wasn't any of those things.

dantallion: I tend to agree with you. There was such a hushed reverence as the closing credits rolled, you could tell the movie had hit home and hit home quite hard for most, if not all, who were in the theater.

green eyes: Like I said with Bruce, I can respect that. This post was as much for those who choose not to see it as it is for those who are still debating whether or not to go see it. I just wanted to offer reassurance that it's not just some crass Hollywood attempt to cash in on human tragedy and that it was tastefully and respectfully done.

st. dickeybird: I was in Canada last November on your Remembrance Day (Veteran's Day in the US). I found it quite admirable how respectful Canadians are of their Veterans and made me quite disgusted with the general lack of respect many Americans have for those who were/are willing to put their lives on the line to defend our rights to speak out and burn the very flag our soldiers are giving their lives to defend.

Snooze said...

That was a powerful review. I don't think I'd be able to watch it in the cinema, but it's good the film was made.

Perplexio said...

snooze: The thing about seeing it in a theater, no one should feel self-concious about crying because chances are just about everyone else in that theater will be reacting in much the same way. In fact I'd go so far as to say that anyone who isn't moved to tears by it has a heart of stone.

Susan as herself said...

I plan on seeing the movie this coming weekend. I understand when people say they can't watch it, or they will wait for it on DVD so they can watch at home. But for me, I need to see it with strangers. I was alone in my house the morning of 9/11, and had nobody to express horror and shock with... It's such a lonely feeling knowing that many people suffered and died and I could do nothing about it. So I guess in some sick, twisted way, seeing such a wrenching film with a room full of strangers will give me some closure. But I am glad I am seeing it in Chicago. I cannot imagine what it would be like to see it in NYC. Just the thought of that makes me tear up---not that I am embarrassed of that. If you don't cry over this, than what?

Perplexio said...

Susan: I totally understand. I was alone that morning as well. Luckily later in the day when my then-girlfriend got off of work I was able to drive over to see her and get my mind off of it for a bit. She and I were able to talk about it with each other.

phlegmfatale said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm sure that everyone who read your post remembers how they heard on that morning and the sickening feeling of something enormous happening, a pole shift. I think this movie is important and I will see it in a theater soon, but I'll admit I'm scared, too. Heartbreaking, and heartening - the heroism of those passengers. God bless them.

The Phoenix said...

I stood at the site of the WTC disaster 8 months after it happened. I cannot explain the anger that ran through my body.

When I see a bunch of Muslim extremists parading around the streets talking about jihad and how Iran should bomb us...it makes me want to put a bullet through their heads. I can't believe we just stand around while evil haters of life do this crap on our soil.

People need to remember.

Keshi said...

Perplexio I can NEVER forget that day...it was a Wednesday morning for me here when I heard the news...I had just come back from gym and was getting ready for work and there it was all over the net! I was shocked, in total grief for all the victims and in so much anger at the losers who did it...

Though no one I knew got affected directly by 9/11, my life changed forever after reading the victim stories. It has left a huge impact in my psyche. I changed the way I did many things...this catastrophe was what really showed me that life is indeed uncertain and can be very short.

So many tears...so many stolen moments...so many unheard voices...

Keshi.

Ms. V said...

This is on my "must see" list, but I'll probably watch it at home. I already cry at the commercials. Thanks for the review, and thanks for being brave enough to be the first of a group to go!!