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United 93 Follow-Up

Steve posted on this a week ago, but as more reviews come out, I'd like to offer an update from Michael Smerconish on his review of the movie.

United 93 is a must. And nothing you hear or read about it, including this, will fully prepare you for the experience. Go see this movie. It's two hours that will strengthen our constitution as a nation at any crossroads that we may confront in the war on terror. And exactly what we all need to watch on a regular basis to stay focused on eradicating those who threaten our freedom.

I was in D.C., not far from the Pentagon on 9/11 - as nearly all of you, I remember exactly where I was and exactly what I was doing when reports of the attack came. We were quickly ushered out of work - to minimize the profile of congregated military personnel at vulnerable facilities. On the way home, that fateful day, I not only saw the oily smoke rising from the Pentagon, and smelled the burning of jet fuel, an unmistakable odor to a Marine aviation Weapons and Tactics Instructor. There was an eery silence as no aircraft flew overhead - strange for the nation's capitol. I retired after Afghanistan was liberated from evil and moved to the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh, not far from Shanksville.

In arguably the most politically charged environment in our nation's history, he made a movie about a historical event in a manner devoid of politics. This is not a movie for only red or blue state America, nor a picture for either Fox News or CNN viewers, but for all Americans. That is not to say that issues of ineptitude or un-preparedness are swept under the rug. While the movie does not point fingers, it documents plenty of ill-equipped government actors and an abundance of chaos. United 93 is incredibly well filmed and scored. The jerky nature of the footage befits the events, and the sound that accompanies the imagery is just right. The reality that comes from the replica aircraft and actual locations used in filming is simply awesome.

The United 93 memorial has had some rocky times, but is finally gelling into something that America will be proud to stand and say that this is where America first fought back in the War on Terror. This is your average American, gave his life for the lives of others - the highest honor that one can bestow upon another. This is not from the Marine Corps handbook, but from the bible (Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13).

This is a movie where we all know the ending. And yet, the climax is still a suspenseful moment. Nothing can prepare you for actually seeing the events... Go watch this weekend, while a portion of your admission will go to the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville. And prepare for an unusual movie experience. In my case it was a surreal moment when I realized that in my theatre was a local woman who bears the emotional scars of what happened that day. Ellen Saracini, the widow of UA Flight 175 pilot Victor Saracini, whose flight was referenced time and again by the traffic controllers in United 93, screened the movie the same night as me.

This is a must-see. Perspective must be maintained. Take pride in your America and understand clearly that the freedoms we enjoy were bought by the sacrifices of others.