As I listened to Jay Weber’s show in the background this morning, I heard the discussion about whether or not the coverage of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy should be complete with the ugly scenes or sanitized to protect the consumer.
9/11 is a most significant part of our history as a country no matter your opinions about what our country had or hadn’t done to “deserve” this terrible attack. We had, until then, been aware that we might be targeted but, since nothing of this magnitude had occurred, we felt protected.
I recall precisely where I was and what I was doing that morning. The scene on the television screen is almost as bright and clear in my mind as it was on that morning. I remember thinking that this couldn’t be an accident since there is heavy air traffic control in that region with the many airports and the heavy air travel in and out of the area. I watched as the second tower was targeted and hit by the second aircraft and any doubts I might’ve had about intent or accident in the earlier instance were wiped away. We were definitely under attack and we had suffered terrible losses even as the situation continued to play itself out.
I also recall watching as souls leaped from the burning towers rather than to be burned alive, knowing they were about to die without having had their final goodbyes and the hugs and kisses from loved ones. They leaped because there was no other alternative; they weren’t going to be rescued and they knew that.
Now to the earlier question: should the coverage this week-end be sanitized or should it be as real as it was when I watched it occur? It should not be sanitized but parents should decide if their kids are old enough to be exposed to certain aspects of the tragedy. This happened and, too often it seems, we are treated as the village idiot who can’t be trusted with the truth by the networks that seem to know better about everything.
We need to grieve over this occurrence and we need to renew the resolve that this should never be permitted to occur again. We need to remember those whom we might’ve known that were taken from us that morning. We need to remember those whose hands flew the aircrafts into the towers, into the Pentagon and into the field in Pennsylvania. We need to remember the passengers aboard Flight 93 who took action to preclude further disaster by forcing that aircraft into the ground. We need to remember all those who worked around the clock for days on end trying to find a survivor who might’ve somehow made it through.
We need to remember and we need to help our younger generations remember. The scenes were terribly graphic, but nothing worse than television or movies have been for ages. The real difference is just that, this was real. This happened. More than 3,000 people died that day and many thousands more have died fighting in foreign lands to protect you and me.
We need to remember the reality of that fateful day. We don’t need to be protected by the networks or the politicians. We don’t need to see this event made something less than it was by removing some of the scenes we watched that day and the days and weeks and months after.