United 93

Did any of our Australian readers watch it? I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t even know it was playing, after reading a review of it a while back, no not the review by some condescending critic from an ivory tower somewhere, I prefer the no-nonsense reviewers over at the asylum. I made a mental note to watch it, hoping to be reminded by an ad or two as the release date drew near in Australia.

But not a word from anyone, perhaps I missed them, I happened to hear a talkback radio listener who watched it a day or two ago, that’s how I found out. So I looked it up at the local theatre and watched it on Tuesday night. I gritted my teeth through the ads that we are now forced to watch, after PAYING to watch a movie, knowing it is nothing compared to the sacrifice we were about to witness.

After much thought about the movie, I came to the realisation that it didn’t matter how the movie was, not that it was a bad movie, rather it was about the passengers of United 93 or as written elsewhere in this blog, the first soldiers in the Great War on Terror.

Let me come back to them. When so many were butchered on 9/11, I didn’t know much about America, even less about Islamic terror and probably wouldn’t have known where Australia was on the map, just somewhere down south.

I remember, at the time, hearing some commentator in America talking about reaching out and “understanding why they hate us so much”, something about dialogue and I can’t remember what else. Then I heard the stories of people jumping out of the twin towers and saw the footage of the planes, the firemen going up the stairs to certain death and the last words from the victims and I knew something wasn’t right.

When I came to Australia, I saw the protestors, the hand wringing, the accusations, the illegal war, I heard of the racist white folk, dictatorships, oil, vote rigging, genocide, SUVs, ruining of the planet and I wondered if I had made a mistake.

So I did some looking and did a bit of reading and wondered, are they blind, do they not see? You see, I do not have the blood of Anzacs running through my veins, my ancestors did not fight in Normandy or Berlin, they did not fall in Iwo Jima or Sandakan, and they did not go down swinging at Pearl Harbour or on a lone mountain top in Italy or a plain in France. They did not have to contain their rage as they kicked down the gates to the concentration camps. They did not have to fight tooth and nail in a plantation in Vietnam, they did not have to go home and tell loved ones that, their fathers, their sons, their husbands will not return. They did not have to hold it together as they received a wrapped up flag with the words, “on behalf of a grateful nation”.

So, to me, one who has not been forced to learn the bitter lessons of history, I am bewildered by some westerners today, who take their freedom for granted. Are you blind, do you not see, are you mad. Did your ancestors spill their blood for you to be ‘impartial’, did they fight so you can consider the rights of your enemy, did they fight so your enemy can plot in private, did they fight for your flag, so you can spit on that flag, burn that flag or replace it with the white flag?

I laughed this morning, when I thought about the movie, it wasn’t something in the movie, but the trailer of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth that they played prior to the movie, how Global warming is more of a threat than Terrorism, what else can you do but laugh at it. If you love your planet.. If you love your children.. How appropriate that they show United 93 immediately after this.

Coming back to the passengers on United 93, they give me hope in the other westerners. Their ancestors can take pride in their descendants; you may rest easy as your blood runs strong through their veins. Those of us who came to these lands and enjoy the fruits of your sacrifice cannot fathom the price you paid; I can only hope that one day we will have the courage to take up our places next to your sons and daughters to preserve your legacy.

It would be wise for the enemy to take heed of this. As we saw, when the hijackers took control of the plane, screaming and murdering in name of their God, the passengers recoiled and retreated, much like the way we do when confronted by videos of beheadings and the barbarity displayed by the enemy.

But when they realised they were being used on a suicide mission and there was no compromise and more would die for a wicked cause, they wiped away their tears, remembered an old prayer and found their God. They knew what must be done, they knew that evil had taken control and had changed the course of their destiny; they called their loved ones and said their farewells. They stood up, with courage and honour, they threw caution and fear to the wind, they charged into the valley, burdened with the shadow of death and they roared into the face of evil.

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