102 Minutes

So I watched this program on the History Channel about the events of September 11 in New York.  The program is made up of footage and audio taken by various individuals from the first moments after the first plane hit the World Trade Center until after the last tower fell.  The program is told in real time and is fairly raw in it’s presentation.  I don’t need to rehash what happened that day, but I did see aspects of that time that I had never seen-or thought of before.  The most striking thing you notice is how calm things were up until the North Tower collapsed.  I use the word calm in the sense that other than the first responders, the people around the area were just dazed.  It was like they were just frozen.  I suppose I would have been as well.

Another thing that really struck me was just far away from the towers the debris landed.  And the amount of paper was just unreal.  The twisted bits of metal floated around like the paper.  The people falling or jumping from the towers.  The people…I cannot imagine just how helpless and hopeless they felt.  How hopeless do you have to feel in order to jump from a 110 story building?  I don’t know that I, personally, would have the courage to do that.  I don’t want to know.

At times, you get the impression that you are watching a post-apocalyptic science fiction movie.

The cooperation among the citizens of New York was amazing.  Ethnicity, sex, politics and religion made no difference that day.  Complete strangers helping each other. Rescuers-firefighters, paramedic, police-running INTO a building that is hopelessly damaged.  Damaged beyond repair.  Of course, at the time, pretty much no one truly expected that the structures would collapse.  Still, I’m pretty sure those firefighters, at least, knew there was little they could do to battle the fire.  They were on a rescue mission.  Climbing those stairs with 75 pounds, or more, of equipment had to have been exhausting.

Then there were the small things like the birds choking on the dust after the buildings fell.  Windows broken in vehicles that were parked blocks away.  Someone advising another person to turn off the air conditioning and close the windows in an apartment because of the dust.  The reactions of children once the buildings were gone.  How the hell do you explain that to a five year old child?  Speaking from my own experience, my son was about four at the time, it was difficult.  I cannot fault the parents in the video.

The inside glimpses of building 7 were interesting.  That building sat for seven hours with a fire burning in the basement, yet you really could not tell because of the smoke from the towers. 

This was an interesting and emotional document on the events of that day.  While images of the buildings on fire, the second plane crash and the collapse of both are shown, the majority of the program focused mostly on the people of New York and New Jersey and how they dealt with the tragedy. 

Very well done.


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