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Saturday, May 13, 2006

United 93 (2006)
So, last night some members of the Delaware Conservative Bloggers Alliance got together to view United 93. Joining me were Hube and Mrs. Hube, Mark Levin Fan and Mrs. Mark Levin fan, Miss Anonymous Opinion (which sounds more and more like a beauty queen title the more I say it), Ryan of Jokers to the Right, and Anna Venger. (after the movie we headed back to Chez Venger where we met her children and Mr. Venger.)

I thought the movie was excellent. It didn't overdramtize the action and really made you understand how to everyone but the terrorists it was just another day. It showed how much of the inaction by authorities was understandable, if regrettable. After all, hijackings had always comparatively non-violent; what ended up happening was unthinkable. When I first heard that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center, I assumed bad piloting. It wasn't until I saw the video of the second plane that I realized we were at war. This is the point one of the controllers made during the movie: he grounded all planes because it was clear "we're at war with somebody" and he refused to let planes fly until they knew what was going on.

It's common to laud the courage of the passengers of Flight 93 for their valor and courage, and rightly so. I hope it doesn't come at the expense of the memory of the passengers who died on the other flights, though. They were working under the assumptions I discussed above; those on Flight 93 had the advantage of greater knowledge. They knew the Rules had changed. I think that most people in that situation would have done what those on Flight 93 did.

I had read a complaint that the terrorists were portrayed as religious fanatics, but I didn't find that to be the case. It seemed to me that they believed they had a job that their God wished them to do and they did it. That's not fanaticism; that's faith.

I ahve to admit it teared me up a bit at times, knowing the ending would not be a good one. At the end you could hear sniffles throughout the audience, although I don't think anyone outright cried.

Afterwards, much discussion occurred about could we have done the same thing. I hope we would, and I think more people would than think they would. I think once you accept death, courage is no longer an issue. If the best case scenario is that your life is over, what have you got to lose? Last year, I read "D-Day: The Invasion of Europe" from the American Heritage Junior Library, and they quote on Naval officer who landed at Omaha Beach as saying "As I had one good look at the smoke and the flashes from the guns and the bodies drifting in the surf, I was quite sure I was going to die right there. As soon as I knew this, I felt fairly free and capable, so I got to work doing everything I could." When you know you're going to lose, all you can do is make sure that the other guy doesn't win either. And that's what the passengers did. They changed the rules on the terrorists.

And that may be the most important thing that happened on September 11th. Our enemies thought we were weak and would roll over under attack. They attacked our weakest: innocent, unsupecting civilians. And we beat them in the battle where the rules were clear. When we know how we're fighting we can win, even when the odds are against us. People who had no warning and no training beat those who had trained and prepared for months, if not years. Americans will not be beaten when given the chance. That's the message of Flight 93 and the movie shows that well.

Other DCBA reviews:
Anonymous Opinion
Jokers to the Right
Anna Venger

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