9/11 Reminds Us of Why We Fight

I can kind of understand why the families of Sept. 11 victims objected to the national broadcast of the documentary 9/11.

Still, I think its airing performed a huge public service by putting the horrific events of that day into perspective. It showed what happened and when, and chronicled the struggles faced by emergency workers.

The film does not mention the suicide pilots. As we memorialize those who died for going to work and those who died trying to save them, those who died killing them deserve to be forgotten by history… except for a special note of condemnation.

The Naudet brothers' film takes you inside the collapsing World Trade Center, lets you hear the wrenching sounds of the building coming apart, lets you watch pieces of the building falling from one hundred floors up... and then lets you hear the buildings coming down. As Gedeon Naudet — one of the filmmakers — said, with terror still in his eyes: it was a roar like no other sound anyone had ever heard.

The fact that the Naudet brothers survived means that they were not in the places where the terror was the worst.

We are left to imagine what it was like for the people on the floors that were burning. What it was like for the people on the floors above, for whom there was no escape. What it was like for the firemen going up and up and up in the stairwells. What it was like when the building eventually came down on top of them.

Everybody who knows what that was like died. But the Naudet brothers, and the firemen they covered, came as close as one could get to dying on Sept. 11. Their story was riveting and heart-breaking. It was a bad day for all of us… a lot worse for some.

This documentary serves to remind us of why we fight. It reminds us of the mindless, numbing destruction and death of that day, how unjust the attack was... and how the people who contributed to this horror must be brought to justice.

That's My Word.

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