“Democrats who are against this war should have to wear “I work for Al-Qaida badges at all times”, my husband said on our way home from the movie, United 93. That is the powerful impact that it had on us. It was one of the most gripping movies I have ever seen.
When we first sat down in the theater the previews for upcoming movies seemed to go on and on and the sound was much too loud. The movie house was about two thirds full which was pretty good for a matinee. The trailers were so loud however, that a few people shouted, “Turn it down.” which I thought was pretty rude. If they had wanted the sound turned down the proper thing to have done would have been to leave the auditorium and go out to the lobby to complain.
Especially considering what happened next. The sound was turned down alright. But completely down. When United 93 finally began there was absolutely no sound whatsoever. As we viewed the terrorists in their hotels, preparing themselves for their day of Jihad there was no sound at all. We couldn’t hear anything. I grumbled to my husband and threatened to get up and go to the lobby myself. My husband told me he would and stood up and walked out of the auditorium. The guy behind us also was grumbling and got up a little after my husband.
Pretty soon a theater employee walked into the auditorium with a trash can, looking around. People near him started complaining but all I could see was the employee shrugging his shoulders in response. After my husband returned I asked him what the theater employees had told him and he said that their response was they would do what they could. No one else as far as I know besides my husband and the man behind us actually got out of their seat to complain about the lack of sound in the theater.
I thought at the time that even though having no sound was no big emergency yet we were all paying customers and we couldn’t hear the movie. Most of us were sitting there doing little or nothing about it. How like September 10th we are I thought. Still.
That is what the movie exemplified. How unsuspecting, Americans on that day were clueless to the evil theatening to engulf us. That the air traffic controllers who were actually listening to the events in the cockpits were not at first believed. How unprepared NORAD and the Air Force were. There were only four interceptors available to send and even that was a screwup because the fighter jets were sent East over the ocean. So much precious time was lost because of bureaucrats unwilling to take a stand.
The movie was well into ten minutes before we had sound but it was visually stunning even without it, and when we finally could hear, the co-captain of United 93 was under the plane watching it being fueled. Passengers were entering the airports, flight attendants were preparing the plane. All seemed normal.
On to the various traffic control headquarters on the East Coast. Each air traffic controller sat at computer screens in darkened, slightly claustrophobic rooms charting the courses of the planes in the air. It appeared to be a beautiful day all over America. As I recall it was also a beautiful day in Germany where we were living at the time of 911.
Even though I knew what was coming the story as it unfolded was intense and somewhat confusing as we watched each new event through the eyes of the doomed characters in this tragic play.
After Flight 93 became airborne we had glimpses of the passengers settling into what they thought would be a quiet trip. Even after the terrorists took over the plane the passengers were compliant and fearful until they got the courage to use their own or the plane’s telephones.
Then, row by row, word was passed that what they thought was a typical hijacking was actually a suicide mission. That’s when it hit me hard. The passengers of Flight 93’s realization that the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had been hit and their plane hadn’t been hijacked by angry people with a political agenda but insane religious zealots who meant to kill them all brought them out of their seats. It dawned on them that they would have to fight back.
I have read that a blogger claims that one of the European passengers on the plane didn’t try to clue in the terrorists to the plans of the passengers to fight back. That is not what I saw. The man at first told his fellow passengers that they should stay quiet and the plane would land safely. But just before the passengers charged up the aisle he did attempt to warn the terrorists and was stopped by the passengers.
Whether that happened or not on the real Flight 93 we will never know but have we not seen Europe itself spend much of its treasure and time in recent days in its dhimmitude, changing the vocabulary so as not to upset Muslims even as they burn European cities and riot over cartoons? When will their tolerance finally become intolerable?
The passengers began to fight back in a courageous and desperate battle which ultimately was unsuccessful but I believe my favorite scene was the moment they took down the terrorist with the red headband. There was something so symbolic and powerful about that act.
When I was a child I remember wondering about the historical phrase, Remember the Alamo. I learned later, of course, that it was a battle cry that eventually “spurred on the forces of Sam Houston at San Jacinto.”
Our heritage is one of a brave people and United 93 tells the modern day story of valor that is true even though it is tragic. This movie is a faithful retelling of the courage of everyday people who acted with will and saved untold thousands. It is time for all Americans to see it and our battle cry should be Remember Flight 93.
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