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United 93

Hubby and I had a chance to watch United 93 today. I think his post sums up some of what I felt. The part about feeling helpless was spot on.

The tears started cranking up when the last passenger on almost missed the flight - I’ll bet the thought of “I wish I had been delayed one or two more minutes” went through his mind time and again. The full blown tears started when the door on the plane actually closed and locked, sealing their fate. There were segments of time during which those tears were replaced by anger which, for me, inevitably results in more tears.

I was extremely surprised when I almost found myself in a position to have to walk out of the movie. I seriously thought I was having some kind of anxiety attack. My heart was racing, I was shaking and I couldn’t sit still. I did make it through the movie, only to find myself a blubbering fool once the screen went black. I wore my sunglasses out of the theater to cover up my red-rimmed eyes. I wasn’t alone, though. Women were fixing their mascara, even a number of men were wiping away tears.

Why did this touch me as strongly as it did? I did not lose a loved one that day, but I think most of us lost a part of our former selves. Throughout the movie, I was reliving that day in my head along with what was happening on the screen. Pissed off that this happened 2 days after our son’s birthday. Crying that my infant daughter was so innocent, but would be brought up in a world far less carefree than when I was a kid. Furious that people would have the stupid idea that this was something that should be done. I remember going to work that day (I worked swings at the time so had been sitting at home absorbed in the coverage all day). I remember a girl on my team who came to work even though her cousin was missing. I clearly remember the call she got when her cousin, although seriously injured in the Pentagon, was found alive and would make it. The prayer circles, the customers calling in that night not because they had a problem, just because they wanted to hear another voice…and perhaps do something normal. I remember the long lines outside the building because people thought they needed to get gasoline before it ran out. …and I remember the looming silence as there were no planes flying through the normal flight pattern that took many planes within earshot of our facility. Those days were freightening for me as I usually spent an hour in the building alone before I went home at 1am. The first time the fighter jet flew by our building at about 12:30am, I was on the floor under my cubicle, thinking I was going to die. I left work early that day. And then they hired guards to walk us to our cars and ensure we were safe not long after that. All of these memories came flooding back while the horror played out on the screen. I think both the movie and those memories playing together in my head almost had me.

I am consistently awestruck by the bravery of the passengers and crew on this flight. Their decision to fight back not only saved countless lives, they ensured that no more terrorists will *ever* do this again - no one will let them. If I have anything to say about how the actual film was done, I would say that they painted such a candid and frank picture of what must have happened on that flight without adding the normal Hollywood or Made-for-TV-Movie over-dramatization we typically see. They made me feel the frustration air traffic control must have felt - they made me feel confused when mixed messages were going on and they made me feel the fear and anxiety every person in this scenario had to have felt, no matter whether they were on that plane or a spectator to the situation on the ground. My heart breaks for the families of these heroes.

While it will likely never happen, I think this movie should be part of a high school’s American History lessons. It would truly help put a face to what happened that day - even for those who weren’t around to experience it. The bravery of these men and women should *never* fade away - to do so would be a disgrace. On the flipside, the brazen and hateful things the coward terrorists did should absolutely never be forgotten. In my mind, their faces are painted on the tip of every bullet and missile our servicemen and women use while fighting the W.O.T.

Both Hubby and I craved normalcy once we got out of that theater. The first thing we did was go get our children. The next thing we did was hug them.

Cotillion linked with United 93
Portia Rediscovered linked with United 93 Round Up
MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy linked with My Experience With United 93
The Jawa Report linked with My Experience With United 93