Today is another anniversary of the horrific attack on America that happened 9-11-01. I did not lose anyone in these attacks but was impacted by the events & their aftermath. For me I look at those attacks somewhat like our generation’s Pearl Harbor.
Each year as another September 11th approaches my family makes a concerted effort to remember & reflect. We tell our version of our events to our kids, who were all very young children on that terrible day, so they have limited direct personal memories.
We usually check out various books & movies from the library that share aspects of those events & things that subsequently happened. We make a concerted effort to not look away from the horror & tragedy & to prayerfully & respectfully reflect & remember.
Here are some things that have been impacting us over the years & can help us to understand the events, at least from the point of view of their creators:
- The book, Love Greg & Lauren, by Greg Manning, shares their family’s journey through the medical trauma due to Lauren’s extensive burns from being caught in the fireball that exploded in one of the Trade Center lobbies when one of the planes hit. This book so impacted me that later on when my son, Josiah, was found to have a brain tumor & masses/tumors in his liver that ultimately required a Liver Transplant that I began writing blog posts to keep friends, family, & prayer warriors abreast of his situation & needs. Had I never read Love Greg & Lauren I may have continued to just send email blasts to a huge readership but not developed the more interactive style of communication that provided so much support for us during some very difficult times. That original blog is archived here: JazzmanJournal.wordpress.com & the continuing blog is found here: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/josiahcurren/
- The moving documentary video 9/11 by the Naudet Brothers (Gedeon & Jules) is practically an annual ritual with us. This documentary was begun well before 9-11 happened & the French filmmakers were working with a particular firehouse that was the first on the scene at the North Tower after the first plane hit. This film does not appear agenda driven in any way & uses acquired footage to contrast life in a New York City Firehouse pre- & post- 9-11 attacks. The brothers each filmed unexpectedly both plane hits into the Twin Towers. One was with a fire chief in the lobby of the North Tower when the South Tower fell. Another brother was on the street & engulfed by the debris field from one of the collapses.
- We recently watched a documentary on Amazon Prime called Falling Man. This tells the tale of the attempt to identify on of the Twin Tower Jumpers whose iconic photo captivated & horrified the world. This film takes more of a research style or investigative journalist approach to learn about who might have been in that serene yet horrifying image. It showcases through a couple of biographies of possible photographic subjects the richness of the lives that were lost & the void in the lives of the loved ones left behind. It takes an unflinching look at one of the most brutal aspects of that entirely apocalyptic day, those given the untenable choice of burning to death or jumping to their deaths…
- A place I used to regularly check was a website featuring the song “Can’t Cry Hard Enough” where the faces of many of the lost & images of that tragic day are respectfully shared in a moving tribute, in looking for this particular video I discovered that the Library of Congress has a web archive for 9-11-01 too:
- I’m sharing the link to the Library of Congress archive but haven’t looked more deeply into it at this time…
- Another video my family regularly views around the anniversary time in 102 Minutes that Changed America. This is compelling audio & video that unfolds through the exact time period from the first plane hit until that second tower fell. There are professional videographers, people on the street, & even students who contributed what they witnesses. The “bonus” interviews with the videographers add to our understanding of their perspective. My family plans to watch this video tonight on the anniversary so that we can in a small way “be there” too…
- One year I read the book Tower Stories to get a fresh perspective on the eye witness participants & survivors from the Twin Towers. Those views are raw & real…
- One year I watched the movie Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close with my autistic son, not realizing the main character is a boy who is high functioning on the autism spectrum & is trying to come to grips with the death of his father in New York. I believe this is a work of fiction but lovingly reveals how so many New Yorkers may have struggled with the 9-11 devastation & aftermath.
- There is another fictional book that deals with September 11th in a beautiful, sensitive, & godly way. One Tuesday Morning, by Karen Kingsbury. I believe there is also a sequel called Beyond Tuesday Morning…
- One 9-11 Anniversary we were deeply moved by the rendition of “Sounds of Silence” performed by Paul Simon at Ground Zero…
- We’ve also, on occasion, watched the movies Flight 93 & United 93. Both of these movies portray the ordeal & heroism onboard United Airlines Flight 93 that ended up crashing into a field & forest near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Both of these movies are well done & heartbreaking & each time I’ve watched them I find myself wishing that the courageous passengers had been able to succeed in their endeavor to re-take the plane…
- One year I watched what was then newly released footage provided by an NYC couple from their high rise apartment. They had clear views of some of the rescue work being attempted at the Twin Towers & a unique, near birdseye perspective on the deadly debris cloud that swept over Lower Manhatten. I believe the link below is for that specific video, though at a different site than where I’d first seen it.
- Another year I listened to some of the newly released 911 calls from that tragic day. I believe only the law enforcement side of the call was released so we cannot directly be with the victims nor hear their presumed anguish. I believe the link below will yield some similar results…
- I guess there are likely many things that are available for those who choose to go looking for them. Their are portrayals of actual events, like the Nicholas Cage movie depicting the rescue of some Port Authority workers from the collapsed towers devastation; there are numerous books written, like by some of the widows of Flight 93; there are government reports, like the 9-11 Commission Report; there are tales about the wars & actions overseas in the aftermath of 9-11; there are all the changes in our society, some good some not so much; there are lawsuits for the 9-11 rescuers felled by devastating diseases connected to their work on The Pile; there are activists speaking out, like the 9-11 Widows; there are memorials & controversies; their are museums; their are survivors & their personal memories; there are witnesses, like Ted Olsen speaking to his wife Barbara on the plane that hit the Pentagon or Lisa Jackson? speaking with Todd Beamer & sharing The Lord’s Prayer before the iconic “Let’s Roll” words are heard; there is the Congress singing God Bless America on the Capital steps; & the service at the National Cathedral…
- However you choose to remember Do Remember September 11, 2001!
- We live in the Post 9-11 world now & this world is darker, sadder, & less innocent than the world that existed at 8:45 am on that One Tuesday Morning…
After doing this post originally on 9-11-18 I ran across some further material of interest & wanted to share it here (I haven’t reviewed every aspect of each item shared below, so am providing these links as an FYI, not Endorsing the viewpoints)…
This first is a lengthy but moving article that outlines many aspects of the life of one of the heroes of 9-11, a man who sacrificed his life getting people out of the South Tower & chose to do one more sweep looking for people needing help to escape & so was on the 10 floor around the time of the collapse. Worth Reading!!!
Following are some snips from the comments section to this post:
After exhausting the comments section of the 9-11 post I’m looking for further gems from the CTH Open Thread here:
Now I’m reviewing some of Stella’s 9/11 themed pages starting here:
Now checking this post of Stella’s:
Father Mychal Judge.
For his boys.
For his city.
For his God.
The two videos above were from other Stella posts, then from this post:
Hoping to find further gems here:
from the transcript of the above video:
“As Commander-in-Chief, I will always do everything in my power to prevent terrorists from striking American soil.
Here with us today is Dorothy Garcia Bachler. Her husband Sonny was one of the passengers on Flight 93. On September 11th, 2001 — just over a month after their 32nd wedding anniversary — Sonny was on his way back from a business meeting. He called Dorothy — who he loved so much — called her on the plane and uttered her name before the line went dead silent.
In the days after the attack, Dorothy told the investigators there was only one thing she wanted from this field: her husbands wedding ring. They would know it by the inscription etched inside. All my love, it said, followed by the number 8/2/69 – the date of their anniversary. The officers — great people — promised to try. But in this field of wreckage, it seemed certainly impossible.
Dorothy began to pray, and she asked her friends to do the same. Days went by, then months. Still no ring. A week before Christmas, on December 19th, she heard a knock at the door. Two officers were standing with a — really beautiful to her — she saw it was so beautiful; she knew what was happening — a beautiful, small white box. Inside it was a wallet, a luggage tag, a drivers license, a small bag with the wedding ring inscribed with those three precious words: All my love.
Those words echo across this field. And those words tell the story of 40 men and women who gave all their love for their families, their country, and our freedom.
To Dorothy, and to every family here today, America will never forget what your loved ones did for all of us. (Applause.)”