After Action Report: United 93

Exactly What I Expected

Sometimes hard to watch, sometimes exciting, and the air hangs thick with tension throughout the full 111 minutes. Of course, we know all too well how it ends; the tension comes from feeling like you are living through what those passengers lived through. It is a decidedly uncomfortable experience, at least in part.

The confusion and horror, the violence and terror, and then later, the resolution to act against the hijackers, the planning of the attack, and the actual attack. The plane turns upside down, chaos reigns. The ground gets closer and closer, and then the screen goes black. It’s eerie; you know that you just lived through it, and will walk out of the theatre into the light of day, free to continue living your life. The passengers of United 93 weren’t as lucky.

This is a group of people who confronted their destiny, and took action to save others. I imagine that any of the other doomed passengers on flights from that day, had they known what was going to happen to them, might have acted in the same way. We’ll never really know.

What we do know is that this group of people performed like heroes when called upon.

While I’m sure it must be an exceedingly small consolation to the surviving family members, I want to say, here and now, how grateful I am that the heroes of United 93 decided to go down fighting, rather than sit back and wait for evil people to do as they like. I’m quite sure there are literally millions of others who feel the same way.

Our national pride was wounded on that day, but because of the heroes of United 93, we salvaged a small piece of our spirit. This was a message to the world, and to ourselves: we still think what we have is worth fighting for.


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