Doing Justice To United 93 Heroes

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - May 10, 2006

I entered the theater not really knowing what to expect, although I knew how the movie ended. More than an hour and a half later, United 93 ended as expected, but the story it told was still as shocking and emotional as anything I’ve experienced.

To all the critics who cry foul that this film is “too early” to release, you are wrong. This movie should have been released earlier. I am disheartened that so many have forgotten the reality of 9/11. For some politicians, it has simply become a reference point to fuel political expediency. Anti-American Americans point to 9/11 as being our own fault. Fanatic Muslims and their supporters say we deserved it and more.

Here is the reality: 9/11 was a murderous assault on the United States of America - nothing more, nothing less. To refer to it as anything else trivializes the devastation wrought upon our people. United 93 is more than a theatrical release. It is a valuable public service reminding us that 9/11 was the first salvo in the War on America - a war launched by an enemy with no nation, no ideal, no uniform and no conscience.

We all know about United Flight 93. Of the four aircraft hijacked that day, this was the only plane that did not find its intended target. After a violent commandeering of the aircraft by four terrorists, the passengers took matters in their own hands and launched a counter-assault on the hijackers. The struggle between the passengers and terrorists flying the plane led to its crash in the fields of Pennsylvania. Those brave men and women thwarted a World Trade Center-style attack on Washington, D.C., and the Capitol. More than five years later, it is chilling to contemplate the results if they had been successful.

It is clear those passengers staged the first counter-attack against our enemies in this War on America. Although they lost their lives, they foiled the enemy and defeated their murderous intent. They are true American heroes and should be remembered as such.

United 93 succeeds in re-creating some of the chaos, incredulity and abject sadness of 9/11. There are key players from the “real world” who portray themselves in the movie. The production style is pseudo-documentary, yet the theatrics utilized are subdued and appropriate. If this were a fictional production, it would have been a gripping suspense thriller.

But it was not fiction. The events and the people were real. All surviving members of those passengers killed on United Flight 93 participated in and supported the filmmaker’s efforts. I hope each receives the appreciation from us all for his or her resolve in reliving such a painful experience.

The reasons for my emotional ebb and flow in watching this movie are many. I was infuriated while witnessing the methodical manner in which these terrorists carried out an attack on America while killing innocent people. Their rabid fanaticism should serve notice that there is no negotiation possible in this war. There is only our resolve to be victorious, and maintain our American way of life.

What truly struck me were the phone calls from captive passengers to their loved ones on the ground. Resigned to the likelihood of their deaths, mothers and fathers said goodbye to their children. Friends left messages with friends asking them to relay their love to the family they could not reach. Husbands tearfully spoke to wives for the last time.

There, by the grace of God, go I. We, as Americans, are the targets of a relentless, hate-filled and amoral enemy. It was United Flight 93 on that day. It could be a future flight or train or bus or stadium where al Qaeda could strike. It could be your grandfather, mother or son making that call to you.

We as a nation must focus our efforts and energies in defeating this monstrous enemy. It is essential we stop tearing each other down in order to win the battle of political positioning. We need to concentrate on rooting out this evil and dispatching those agents back to their maker.

The key to winning this war is to never forget, because losing is not an option.

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