Friday, April 28, 2006

Heroes On Board..Flight 93!

The other day on "The Focus" I had a chance to talk with Dennis Roddy a reporter with the Pittsburgh Press-Gazette. Dennis and three other reporters wrote an article for the newspaper in October of 2001 detailing the lives of those who boarded United 93 on September 11th, 2001.

He covered the stories of the four hijackers who boarded the plane while the other reporters talked with the family members of the passengers and crew. The plane crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania when the passengers rushed the cockpit. Otherwise they too might have hit another target on that fateful day.

I asked him if he was ready to see "United 93" Hollywood's first major film about 9/11. He said he had mixed feelings, but was curious to see how the event and people involved would be portrayed in the film.

After reading what he and the other three reporters wrote, I realized that almost 5 years later I may not be ready to see such a film. I remember covering 9/11 while I was working in Beaver Dam. It took about three days afterwards to realize that in doing the story from local angles and hearing the non-stop coverage provided by radio networks and television that I didn't have time to realize the enormity of the event.

From the sounds of it the film's producers took careful pains to tell the story. I certainly hope that is the case. For many of us the wounds remain fresh even though we didn't know anyone on the planes or in the twin towers or Pentagon. If you don't believe me read the account that Dennis and the other Pittsburgh Press-Gazette reporters wrote. Even now the sense of loss and disbelief still smarts.

I'm including a link to the story that ran on Sunday, October 28th, 2001. The version I printed out ran about 25 pages, but if you have the time it's well worth the read.

Here's one excerpt from the article:

"Flight 93 became an asterisk to a day of horror that claimed almost 5,000 lives, toppled buildings that stood like a twin Colossus on the New York shore, took down one side of the Pentagon, and ushered in a war without rules against an enemy without a state.

What made Flight 93 different was a decision reached somewhere over the skies of Western Pennsylvania, after passengers learned on cell phones that they were likely to be flown into buildings as the fourth in a quartet of suicide attacks.

They decided to fight."

Sadly if you do want to see the movie you will have to go to Oshkosh or West Bend. It's not coming to Fond du Lac.

Am I ready to see a film about 9/11? Honestly?

Here's the link;

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20011028flt93mainstoryp7.asp