THE CRITIC DOCTOR EXAMINES TERRORIST ATTACK ON AMERICA: In a display of true horror, terrorists hijacked two planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York, bringing down the twin 110-story towers. Another plane smashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
I interrupt my Critic Doctor column this week due to today’s destructive terrorist attacks at the Pentagon and New York City’s World Trade Center. A reporter (I cannot remember the name) on a major network television news broadcast said, “I walked through the streets of New York and there was a common reaction from citizens who said, “‘It seemed like a movie.'” Did it really?
Similar remarks could be heard on several TV and radio broadcasts – including comments from my own friends and co-workers. Even I said the attack was playing out like a Tom Clancy novel. For if the terrorists started ACT ONE, let’s hope and pray America will finish ACT TWO and THREE. And how strange this takes place on 9-11-2001 (in other words, 911).
Well, today is now night and I sit at my computer and ponder. As I watch the events unfold on TV, I’m thinking to myself – maybe this is not like a movie.
You see, with a movie I get to walk into a nice air-conditioned building with my wife, buy some treats like popcorn, candy and a soft drink. Then we make our way into a dim lit room where we take a seat in front of a huge projection screen to experience the magic of movies. Here we escape with our minds, our emotions, our realities, and enter worlds we will probably never encounter in real-life. Whether it’s Bruce Willis trying to save hostages in a skyscraper (Die Hard) or Harrison Ford combating terrorists in midair (Air Force One) – we are never in harms way and eventually get to leave the theater.
For the many thousands of victims in this horrific attack today, there was no escape from New York. The bangs, the blackness, the blood and the falling bodies from burning buildings were all too real – surreal moments for those who have (and may never again) go to the movies. It’s like watching the first 20 minutes of “Saving Private Ryan” over and over and over again – shocking images of a reality for which we dare experience ourselves; and shall forever have respect for those who do.
Today didn’t seem like a movie. It seemed like WAR! May God Bless America on this day of sorrow and in the end bring justice to those responsible.
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Posted on September 12, 2001 in Features by Herb Kane
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