Sunday, September 9, 2007

World Trade Center -- A Movie Review

Although I usually review books, sometimes it is difficult for me to read--especially when I can't concentrate. Usually when something difficult happens and I most need to lose myself in a good book, I just can't. I usually can't pray at times like that either; I need God most, but He seems farthest away. Of course He isn't--that is when He is closest. And He proved it to me last night. He gave me the perfect movie to watch!

World Trade Center by Oliver Stone is the movie to watch day after tomorrow if you want to pay respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country on 911.

I'll be honest, I expected it to be a bit cheesy--guess that's the cynic in me. Or maybe I've just watched too many disaster flicks. This is not a disaster flick! Forget Towering Inferno and all those idiotic portrayals of romantic adventure. This is the real thing--the way the Almighty designs things. Not us.

World Trade Center is a true story about two men, Will Jimeno and John Loughlin, and their families and what happens to them on the day of September 11th, 2001. It starts out like any other day. They report to their jobs as Port Authority police officers and are soon rushed into the burning World Trade Center to help rescue people but became trapped themselves when the tower collapses. They were with a number of other officers--I'm not sure exactly how many--but they are the only two in their group who survive under tons of heavens-only-knows-what.

Have you watched or read anything about 911 since 2001?

I haven't. I can't explain why. At the time it happened, it was all anyone talked about, thought about, dreamed about. The entire world was changed because of it...for awhile. Then time passed. The shock subsided. People got on with their lives. The memory dimmed. We all began to forget. I know I did.

They even touched on it in the movie--talking about and trying to remember the last things they said to their loved ones. The wife of John Loughlin couldn't remember what she'd said last to her husband. The mother of an elevator operator remembered she'd gotten angry with her son.

Why do we stop focusing on what is important? Or rather who is important in our lives?

Are we just too busy? Do we try to do too much? What are we doing wrong? Or what are doing that is superfluous? Can we even tell?

When John Loughlin and Will Jimeno were laying buried under tons of rubble it wasn't hard for them to tell what was important--suddenly it became crystal clear--their wives and families. Miles away and frantic with worry about them, the same was true for those who loved them.

As I watched that movie last night, I remembered how I first felt when I heard about the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. My family seeing how I was affected by the movie kept asking me if I wanted to stop watching it. At many points it did remind me of Mel Gibson's The Passion in terms of the horror of the men's suffering. And maybe that is exactly why I continued to watch the movie.

It felt a little like I was keeping vigil with them. If they had to experience that suffering as innocent Americans serving their country, the very least I could do was keep watch along with them. So I did. It was painful, but it was also cathartic. The problem I had been dealing with before I began watching the movie was put into perspective. What really mattered? My husband sat across the room from me--safe and healthy--my children were also alive and well. Thank God!

Fortunately, Will Jimeno and John Loughlin are found by two incredible Marines and rescued by an extraordinary team of dedicated volunteers.

God bless all of them and everyone who worked so tirelessly to do what could be done! And may God bless all those who died September 11th, 2001, and grant peace to their families. God bless America!

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