When I want to remember, I watch this. And I can’t help crying every time, even five years later. Every time. Despite some of its jingoism, despite knowing how we were to squander that precious sympathy we enjoyed for one brief shining moment from the entire world, I still cry.

The Discussion: 11 Comments

I wish you hadn’t set me up with the C word, Richard. Sappy music and all, the caption says it all: “This is what our nation is responding to: Please remember that in the difficult days ahead”

September 11, 2006 @ 9:02 am | Comment

For me, it’s remembering seeing the people jump off the towers — and then seeing two people, getting ready to jump, join hands and hold each other all the way down.

September 11, 2006 @ 9:37 am | Comment

I had not seen this before, and it was a beautiful tribute to the victims and the heroes. Two jingoistic parts bothered me. First, not all of the 3,000 victims were Americans, and that fact makes the attack on the WTF an international event. Second, the suicide hijackers were not “faceless cowards.” We know their names and their faces and that most of them held Saudi passports. Piloting a plane full of people directly into a building is not cowardly. Evil, yes. Hideously evil, but not cowardly. As I recall, a talk show host or presenter made remarks to that effect shortly after 9/11 and was pilloried. With the wounds of 9/11 so fresh, I can understand why America wasn’t ready for such blunt talk, but five years later, we ought to be clear-headed about what happened on that day and how we have responded.

I was in Korea then and wasn’t bombarded with images all day long and for weeks afterward, so I don’t feel like I have the same emotional investment that other Americans have.

i>…squander that precious sympathy we enjoyed for one brief shining moment from the entire world,

I cannot agree with this sweeping statement. The entire world did not sympathize. Remember the images of Arabs and Muslims cheering? In times of trouble you find out who your real friends are. The British Parliament stood up and sang our national anthem. Canadians across the country flew our Stars and Stripes. Britons and Canadians are as fond as anybody of picking on the US, but in our time of shock and grief, they showed genuine empathy. Koreans did not. Korean friends muttered polite words, but privately, Koreans felt the US deserved the attack and admired Bin Laden’s ability to strike at Uncle Sam. The internet was absolutely ablaze with gleeful praise for Bin Laden. Not just a few trolls, but virtually every commentator on the message boards at the major portals showed sympathy only for ethnic Koreans who died or who suffered economic losses. Otherwise, they applauded the attack. I had lived in Korea almost a decade and was shocked by the private reactions of Koreans. One Korean newspaper, the conservative Chosun Ilbo, had the decency to publish an editorial “To Those Who Beautify Terrorism” criticizing the gleeful attitudes of so many Koreans. 9/11 images have been trivialized in advertising and in editorial cartoons. A TV commercial for a sports newspaper showed Bin Laden flying around the Towers too engrossed in reading the paper to complete his mission.

In times of trouble, you find out who your real friends are. With “allies” like Korea…

September 11, 2006 @ 8:20 pm | Comment

Sonagi, I had similar issues with the jingoism, especially for the adulatory tone toward the president – but what do we expect from a site called “”?

About the Koreans…I head similar things about reactions in Thailand and Singapore (I witnessed it for myself in the latter). I think there was a lot of schadenfreude, a sense that finally the US was getting a taste of what most other neations had lived with for a long time. I found this attitude despicable, but can’t deny that it exists. Howeverm for one brief shining moment we definitely did have the sympathy of much of the world – more so than at any other time, and it evaporated as fast as you could say “Iraq.”

Yes Sam, the event demanded difficult times ahead. But not for the rich. Not for the comfortable. And a lot of those difficulties were self-imposed and had no relation whatsoever to 911, no matter how our president tried to spin it.

September 11, 2006 @ 8:37 pm | Comment

Brendan, that was a very Thelma & Louise moment – absolutely heartbreaking. It’s impossible to get into the minds of people as they make a choice like that. It’s too awful even to think about.

September 11, 2006 @ 8:41 pm | Comment

I did not know that the British Parlaiment sang the American national anthem. I truly am touched.

Richard, I did not have any family in the areas hit, and for a long time my view of 911 has been so confused because of all the politics that have gotten wrapped up with it in the years since. Thank you for helping me to sit down and force myself to remember what happend, to see the sheer cruelty, the agonizing terror, and the heartbreak of that day. I was able to mourn, once again. THanks for this thread, I really needed it.

September 11, 2006 @ 8:44 pm | Comment

Last night i have watched a record naming 9/11–just names after that event. The director of this film focused his camera on the two towers and the people working in the World Trade Center. Those great showed the viewers their courages they have and their deep love towards others in that particular dangerous time after the plane had collapsed to the building. I have to say that i am very touched by these great people. All the fire fighters had knew the danger those 2 towers might collapse at any time but they still rushed into them to rescue people without any hesitance. the construction manger, who i forgot his name, searched the people in need from one floor to another, and climbed upward and upward..

i remember at that special moment, in some chinese BBS, some stupid chinese beasts were cheering in response to the innocent americans’ misery and agony. shame on those SOBs calling themselves “chinese patrioslism”.

September 12, 2006 @ 12:13 am | Comment

Jeffrey, there are jerks and cruel, angry people in every culture (god knows we’ve got them here too – and BBS seem to attract that type). Kind words from someone like you are worth more than the nasty, small-minded sentiments of hundreds of hateful people.

September 12, 2006 @ 12:41 am | Comment

I’d like to second what Lisa said.

For some of the most heartreaking footage you’ll ever see, I recommend readers to to Little green Footballs (and I can’t tell much it hurts me to send anyone to that hellhole) to watch this video. Below that are three clips from CNN that were broadcast that day, including a stunning shot of the 2nd jet striking the south tower while the reporter is talking…odder than science fiction, and a testimony to Al Qaeda’s evil genius. What a stroke of brilliance, waiting 20 minutes between strikes, so all the cameras of the world would be focused on that spot, creating maximum hysteria. Hysteria that’s still alive to this day. And each plane did a pirouette, a little dance, tilting from side to side so that their wings would hit the tower almost at a 90-degree angle; the wings were like a scalpel slicing a diagonal line through each tower to cause maximum damage, slicing through as many vertical floors as possible. They were beasts, but they knew what they were doing, and in terms of sheer dramatic power 911 was a day of unmatched theatricality.

September 12, 2006 @ 3:52 am | Comment

And finally, there’s a superb editorial on 911 at the NYT./

September 12, 2006 @ 3:53 am | Comment

Except hide your ISP if you go to LGF – Jeffrey, that site is full of the haters of the type I mentioned above. Though I think Free Republic is worse.

September 12, 2006 @ 10:35 am | Comment

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