Monday, September 5, 2011

United 93 & The Man Who Knew

I've been thinking a lot about 9/11, most likely because the 10th anniversary is approaching, which I must also say friggin' blows my mind. Ten years ago? How is that possible?

Two memories I'll share here & hope you'll also share yours in Comments. The first is I wake up & walk down the hall to see the T.V. on, without sound,  around 9am. Greg has left for work & Gabe who's almost two years old, is still asleep. I see a tall building on fire on the screen & I'm thinking, why is there a movie on at this time in the morning instead of the news? Blurry eyed & barely awake, I stand there a bit longer trying to wrap my head around the images. I don't turn the sound up for some reason, but go instead to the phone & call a friend in town who doesn't have her TV on, so then call my friend Lori & she tells me that a plane has hit the World Trade Center. The TV stays on as I go about my day with Gabe & I stop in front of it every once in awhile, staring in disbelief at the screen.

The next evening, of September 12, is the first day of my fall Intro to Psychology class at the college where I teach. We skip orientation & go straight to the topic of P.T.S.D.


United 93 was made in 2006, so several years after the events of 9/11. No one else wanted to touch 9/11 with a movie until then. What remains intriguing to me about this film is that, wherever possible, actual participants from that day are used, like Air Traffic Controllers, Airport & Air Force staff, etc., plus well edited clips of real footage, resulting in a documentary style, real time format of events surrounding that day. Of course actors were used to witness as truthfully as possible what was  simultaneously happening on Flight 93 before passengers rushed the cock-pit & it crashed in to a field in Pennsylvania, before heading to the believed White House target. It's not an easy movie to watch, but it is also non-sensationalistic or anything other then tragically & realistically done.

I would also recommend 'The Man Who Knew', a more recent documentary on Frontline about former head of the FBI flagship anti-terrorism unit in NYC, John O'Neill. He investigated bombings of the U.S. embassies in Africa & USS Cole in Yemen & for six years he led the fight to track down Al Qaeda operatives throughout the world. His flamboyant style & obsession with Osama bin Laden soon made him a controversial figure inside the buttoned-down world of the FBI. Just two weeks before Sept. 11, O'Neill left the bureau to become head of security at the World Trade Center. He died rushing back into the towers to aid in rescue efforts. You can watch the entire documentary here. 

1 comment:

  1. Where was I that day? Home - William called me from work and told me to turn on the TV. I was in shock - I cried - I called my mom who lived in NY then. to see if she was OK. My step sister was in NYC that day and saw people jumping from the towers. She still has bad dreams about it.