United 93

I watched the trailer for United 93, the upcoming film that attempts to portray the events aboard United Airlines flight 93 on September 11, 2001. For those that don’t remember, Flight 93 was the plane intended for the White House or Capitol Building whose passengers managed to storm the cockpit, forcing the hijackers to crash into a field in central Pennsylvania.
It is rare that I am moved almost to tears by a movie trailer (actually, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been so moved prior), but United 93‘s trailer brought me back to that bright September morning in a flash. I felt my anger, fear, astonishment and blind rage come back in an instant. I remembered the exact spot where I was sitting when I realized that these “crashes” were no accidents; I remembered the phone calls to my family and to Andy, telling them to turn on the closest TV; I remembered numbly watching the collapse of the towers live on CNN, struck dumb by the sheer horror of it all. I remembered being pissed off and realized, to my astonishment, that I never really have lost that rage.
I don’t want to see the movie, but I think I may need to. News channels nigh-religiously avoid showing us images from that morning and, aside from right-leaning websites, few are willing to talk about 9/11, let alone open the floodgates of images, sounds and movies. I doubt that I will be able to contain myself – I most likely will break down at some point during whatever screening I’m able to screw up the courage to attend – but I think people need to see this movie, need to be reminded.
Never forget what we’re fighting against.


I remember the phone call as if it were yesterday: about 5:30am PST, the phone wrenches me out of slumber. I answer, and realize it is Doug on the phone –
D: Are you watching TV?
A: No. I was sleeping.
D: Turn on your TV.
A: What channel…
A turns on TV…10 seconds of silence…
A: Holy S*&%. Is this an accident?
D: Don’t know.
Right about now, Second plane strikes…
For the rest of the day, I was numb. Intel had setup a projector in the Dining room (we had onsite meal services) and my boss – who knew I was a NorEaster and figured correctly that I knew at least one person in that area – told me that I could go home or otherwise NOT be near my desk at that time. He was a great boss…

I think the fact that the producers got the approval of every immediate family member of the passengers says something for the film.