Monday, August 10, 2009

102 MINUTES

102 Minutes That Changed America is an excellent documentary that aired on the History Channel earlier this year. It's about the first 102 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center. It unfolds in real time, not unlike the show 24, and is almost all home video footage, most of which has not been seen before.

It's very difficult to watch. I remember the day like it was yesterday. Although I was in LA, it was a very stressful day, as my wife was with her family in DC, and for much of the day it was unknown what was happening, with at least one plane still unaccounted for, and rumors that there were still several more missing.

Perhaps the most difficult part of watching is the fact that we, the viewers, know what is going to happen, yet it takes more than an hour for the first building to collapse. It's very frustrating watching the people do things that will eventually result in their deaths, and there's nothing we can do about. These are real people, real men jumping from the buildings, real firemen thinking that if they enter the building they can save lives, even though most of them will die in the collapse of the buildings.

There were several people who were tangentially related to me that died that day. Two of the flights took off form my hometown of Boston, 2 were destined for Los Angeles, where I was living at the time, and one crashed in DC, where my wife and her family were. Eight years later, it still hurts.
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