I went to see the movie United 93 today, and I found the film so realistic that I will now 'remember' the events in the airplane as they were depicted. I can't tell anyone else how it will affect them - but I will say that I think the movie is very important for all Americans to see, and that it affected me less than I was afraid it would. I certainly can understand that many people don't wish to have this experience, or at least not in a theater.
Not saying it was easy to watch - as sometimes it was not. I watched the events unfold in the various air control rooms, in Manhattan, at the Pentagon, and on flight 93 itself, and sometimes found myself close to hyperventilating with the tension and remembered anguish. One poor man behind us was obviously having a hard time controlling himself, muttering phrases like "Let's Roll" just before it was spoken on screen. As the movie ended, he shouted "M--- is a Pig" and fled the theater.
I give the movie makers full credit - there was very little 'Hollywood' feel to the film ... every bit was stark and believable. As I watched the credits roll, I could see why. Several people, like Ben Sliney (who ran the FAA Command Center, and ultimately gave the order to ground all air traffic) portrayed themselves. (Cast list here) As hard as it might be to watch this movie for some people, I am amazed that these folks could relive the day and 'act' so naturally - a credit to them, and to director Paul Greengrass.
For me, it's the memories that are important, and my main reason for wanting to see the movie right away. I wanted to face the shock and disbelief again, to remember how my friend cried at the thought of her sister in NYC and having no way to reach her, and how we held her close so that she knew she wasn't alone. I knew nothing then of who the enemy was, only that we had been attacked, and something huge had changed.
I also wanted to see for myself how the movie handled the memory of the people on flight 93. On that score, I'm pleased. The passengers and crew are real people, with real fear and uncertainty. Some want to hold back action, others realize they have to do something. It's not headliner to the rescue - it's real people deciding that in the end, they'd rather die trying than die without trying. I hope I never get tested in this way - but I hope if I am, that I do as well.
This is not a happy movie, but it's an important one. The message is powerful, and we need to send one of our own to Hollywood --- Keep making movies about real heroes! If we go out in droves to see this movie - they will get the right message.
Other views ...
Smash thinks every adult in America should see the movie. (I agree)
Varifrank plans to buy a ticket, whether he goes in to watch or not.
AProudVeteran at The Daily Brief:
Sgt. Mom at The Daily Brief:
Dave at Garfield Ridge:
Mary Katherine Ham at HughHewitt.com:
(H/T to Allahpundit)
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I am flabbergasted at the incredibly poor judgment of the Capital Hilton's management in their decision to evict Fran O'Brien's, and thus shut down a powerful source of caring for wounded servicemembers. Soldiers like Chuck Ziegenfuss have found that the free meal is just a part of the caring service and friendship from owners Marty O'Brien and Hal Koster. And on April 30, it will all end, it appears. (For a trip through the history of this story, FbL has organized her story links here.)
I understand that the Hilton business has a right to make business decisions on their merit. But where is the business ethic or merit in lying to their tenants, refusing to deal honestly in the negotiation process, denying the need for proper upgrades and improvements, and then forcing the restaurant into the street with less than 30 days to find a new home? And since when is it ethical to take credit for the good done through the traditional Friday night free dinners for the wounded and their families? Their empty offer to host the dinners in their other restaurant (but not to pay for them, they want the sponsors to come along!) is just a PR grab. For Shame! Apparently they think we are all stupid, to boot.
The Capital Hilton management made a very poor decision, to be sure. But the corporate management of the Hilton organization has completely failed to correct the stupidity of their subsidiary, and they have brought shame to the whole corporation. Plus, they will be removing a much needed place of love and support from the troops and family members. All this because they couldn't negotiate in good faith, or provide reasonable lead-time for the restaurant.
Hilton was not high on my list of places - but what little business they might have had from me is now gone.
What was the line from Forrest Gump? "Stupid is as stupid does."
These folks have good ideas, and links on ways to communicate your feelings to the Hilton organization:
Sunday, April 23, 2006
I'm getting over my "Milblog Conference" envy - and still wish I could have attended. The next best thing was watching the live feed on the web, and chatting with other 'remotes' as we watched and listened to the fantastic panel discussions.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
** Updated 4/26 **
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
The blog forces continue to mass on the Fran O'Brien's v. Capitol Hilton story. So many others are keeping track, like Blackfive, Grayhawk and my fellow Denizenne, FuzzybearLioness, that I can barely read fast enough. There's now a petition online, taking the Hilton to task for their shabby treatment of the restaurant. If you haven't signed it, please take a moment to read it, and if you agree - please sign it! Thanks to Chris Dickson for reminding me to link!
This weekend marks the first Milblog Conference in our nation's capitol, which means hundreds of milbloggers, military (active and retired), and supporters will be getting together in Washington, D.C. Guess where they won't be staying? However, there's been talk of getting together at Fran O'Brien's to show support - makes me even sorrier that I can't attend the conference!
Someone sent me a link today to Victor Davis Hanson's column "In the Eye of the Beholder", which I posted to the H&I Fires post at the Castle. Perception is Reality, as they say. Go read Mr. Hanson - you won't be sorry.
Sgt Hook has the latest from Russ Vaughn in response to the Generals sniping at SecDef Rumsfeld, and he's running a caption contest to boot!
Looking for more good reads? Don't miss these sites:
Thursday, April 13, 2006
The Milblog world is abuzz over the treatment of Fran O’Brien’s, a restaurant whose owners have demonstrated pure and generous support for the wounded troops for several years by serving free steak dinners on Friday nights. We need to show our support for the restaurant, and its owners – Hal and Marty, and (politely) express concerns to the Hilton Hotel which is apparently set to throw the restaurant out on it’s ear.
Please spread the word!
Monday, April 10, 2006
You need to visit Sgt Hook and read No Tears in Heaven. Really.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
No, it's not my birthday. Go to Wikipedia and look up your birth day (excluding the year). List three events, two births and one death, including the year.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
In the end - they did the right thing. The UW student senate has amended and approved Resolution R-12-26 : A Resolution Calling a Memorial for UW Alumni awarded the Medal of Honor. Great news!
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON:
There are five UW alumni who have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and who are to be named upon the memorial:
Now the fund raising must begin. I'll post any news here whenever I have new info. If anyone is aware of specific fund-raising for this memorial, let me know in comments.
When this story first became public, a "Pappy" Boyington memorial fund was created to provide scholarships for students who are Marine Corps veterans or children of Marine Corps veterans. If you are interested in donating to that good cause, you can contact the UW Foundation here.
Congratulations to the student senators, they are continuing the mission.
Monday, April 03, 2006
I have great respect for the way Bill Cosby speaks out on public issues. He isn't afraid to say what needs to be said, even when it counters the common thread out of the black community.
Bill Cosby tells New Orleans blacks to reject crime
He is reminding the community that their problems were home grown, and started long before the hurricane arrived and the levee broke. So this is the chance for the leaders in the community to take charge and show their neighbors how it is done.
Maybe Chuck is right, and there really is a FEMA Gold Ticket ...
Of course, it's not fair to pick on New Orleans. They are just one symptom of the whole disease. I was simultaneously laughing and crying while I read the story of 'Hector' at Parkway Rest Stop. It's meant to be tongue in cheek - but the teeth are sharp...
Well written, Jim! And thanks to Sgt Hook for the hat tip.