Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Flight 93

It is hard to believe that it has been over four years since 9/11 occurred. Now the movie Flight 93 will be coming out. But what is more astonishing to me is that there are those who are still say, "Too soon." The pleas, if from family members, are understandable. Those who have lost loved ones through tragedy have various levels of time needed to heal. It is impossible to completely empathize with a person who has lost so much.

However the movie is going to be out this Friday. There have not been any strong objections from family members who lost loved one on Flight 93. Several article, here, here, and here, point to one word: Heroism. This word has, over the course of human history, slowly diminished in meaning. It is possibly more applied now to our sports icons than the men on the battlefields of Afghanistan or Iraq. We've all done it... watching our favorite team win with a (I almost typed it!) great play or maneuver by a player. I'm just as guilty of this than anyone else. The problem, of course, is our inability to truly identify and marvel at heroism.

From all comments made so far about the movie (and the 9/11 Report confirms) show that heroic acts are still within human capabilities and that yes, even Hollywood can properly display it. I would submit that the acts by those on Flight 93 were truly American and truly heroic. The former, rather than the latter, would of course be disputed by many. The spirit of Jefferson, the proponent of the natural right of revolution, is within all Americans; this I do believe. I am excited, yet simultaneously nervous about seeing Flight 93. It will show me the great heroism that can be displayed by such "average" Americans, but it will also show my great failings as an individual. But this "self-hate," if one could call it that, is rather healthy. We need, especially among our youngest Americans, to see men and women doing something truly heroic, devoid of personal gain or glory. As the Greeks defended the polis, the Romans res publica, and now the Americans, who defend all those bound by "the laws of nature and nature's God," we should watch the movie, and allow us to relive the emotion we felt for our fellow Americans on that dreaded day. Currently, I can think of no other way to honor the dead than to remember their sacrifice.


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