Saturday, April 22, 2006

"United 93:" Are We Ready to Roll With It?

I'm not. I'm not prepared to see a film about the fourth hijacked plane during September 11. I recently read that trailers for the Universal Studio film "United 93" were played in New York City and left the audience in outrage and tears. One woman was quoted as saying, "we're not ready."

Sept. 11, 9/11 or 911 - whatever your preference is, this date is my generation's Pearl Harbor and shooting of John F. Kennedy. When I hear reference to this date, sadness sets in. I can vividly place where I was that day and the subsequent events of that week.

I recall the feelings of fear, grief and sadness felt during that time. The feeling of urgency to get home and the emotions felt on the drive back to Florida (I was in Boston on a sales trip at the time). The feeling of patriotism as me and my pal Cham drove down I-95, passing cars toting American flags, houses waving the flag and our own search for the flag.

We stopped at a WalMart somewhere in North Carolina. Their flag supply had been depleted. We stopped one of the workers who had a red, white and blue ribbon pinned to his chest with a safety pin. We asked where we could find something like that and he told us the store was out of ribbons, too. But, he handed us his ribbon and Cham and I split it and donned our own patriotism for the rest of the journey.

Recall the feeling of unity those following days? Remember the fear of knowing that our way of living and freedoms will be forever altered? What has happened to all of the flags? I'm guilty, too. Regrettably, I no longer wear my American flag pin - out of laziness.

Sept 11 paved the way for new geography lessons and exposed us to new cultures. We, isolated Americans, quickly discovered there is more to the Middle East than pyramids, camels, belly dancers and oil. We woke up to the reality that the rest of the world doesn't like the US.

I feel sadness for the people who lost their lives that day as well as the troops - American and from the international community - who have sacrificed their lives for my freedoms during this war on terror. I can barely imagine the fear and horror the passengers on United flight 93 must have experienced, but I don't need Hollywood painting the picture for me.

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