I was looking for the channel guide on the tube last night only to find that it had been replaced for the time being by the National Geographic Channel, which we don't normally get in this area, at least not on my package. For the next couple of hours Elizabeth and I sat transfixed watching their new documentary Inside 9/11. But it wasn't easy. It's as though no time has passed at all. I wonder if films like this are shown in our schools. It ought to be mandatory.
You'll see all you've seen before, and more. This documentary doesn't shy away from falling human bodies (no, you don't get to see the splat). But you see them, and you hear them. For me what brings home the essence of that day is not the sight of the planes slicing into the towers, or word of the ones that crashed into the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania countryside, but of the actions of still living people on those latter two flights, and the reactions of the people on the ground at the sight of the former - the screams of horror and the tears of simple pity and empathy for what had been done to their brothers and sisters. I ask again: does suffering have meaning? You bet it does.
Here's the main website.
Here's the trailer.
There's also a link on that page to an archive of video interviews, among them Ted Olson describing his cellphone conversation with wife Barbara, who died when her plane hit the Pentagon. In another, New York TV reporter Mike Sheehan describes looking up to see a woman in her late twenties, perhaps thirties (this estimate verified by his camerman's zoom lens) crawl out a window to stand on a jagged beam of some sort while the windows behind and around her exploded. The smoke from the inferno billowed out and upward. Sheehan couldn't help but think that this was someone's wife, or daughter, or sister. The woman blessed herself, then looked up to the sky, stretching her arms out to it. Then she jumped.