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.