Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Too soon?

I'll admit, i don't understand the "too soon" controversy around the Flight 93 movie. Five years after Pearl Harbor we were occupying Tokyo and Berlin.

Texans did not wait a generation to "Remember the Alamo." They started at San Jacinto. More telling, Hollywood came out with Wake Island a year after the real battle of Wake Island.

Memories fade. People move on. If we don't honor the heroes of Flight 93 now, are we sure Hollywood will do it in 2016?

After all, how many people remember Wake Island? In 1942 it was a rallying cry alongside "Remember Pearl Harbor". But thiry years afterward it was all but forgotten. Is that what we want to happen with 9/11?

Actually, we don't have to forget Wake Island either. Some people still care:

The aged man appeared to be in his early eighties, but graying and frail were not the first words you would use to describe him. The bounce in his step was still there, and energy shone in his eyes, carrying more than a hint of what a force he once was.
He stood amidst the large gathering of naval and Marine officers, relaxing after a long day's schedule of reunion meetings. They sipped coffee and told tales of their service histories.

"Suddenly, someone spotted him, and in a deep voice barked out above the din, "Attention! Wake Island Marine on deck!"

"Everyone stopped talking," said a naval officer who witnessed the incident. "We stood at attention, faced the Marine, and saluted. Those guys are legendary in the Navy and Marines for what they did, and whenever one is around, you pay him the highest respect."

No wonder, sixty years ago, the old man was one of a tiny band of Marines who staged one of history's most dramatic battles..... that rank with those of the Spartans at Thermopylae, with the British who fought thousands of Zulu at Rorke's Drift in 1879, and with the Texans at the Alamo
From Pacific Alamo by John Wukovits.

Back to Flight 93. I worry that "too soon" will gradually fade into "old news". In 2010 or 2015 it will be just a dim memory. Or worse. As the memory and outrage fades, the historical image of United 93 might be dominated by the conspiracy nuts. Heroes will be reduced to victims killed by their own government.

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