I broke my stated promise to engage in a media blackout today.
I turned on the TV this morning to make sure there was no HFS redux.
This evening, I watched NBC at 8pm, which featured Tom Brokaw interviewing a group of air traffic controllers that watched the four flights to their fateful end, helpless, unable to do anything about those flights. But they did manage to keep the planes in the air safe, and bring them down when the entirety of US airspace was ordered cleared. Kudos.
Bush’s address at 9pm from Ellis Island was appropriate, respectful and inspiring.
CBS aired a documentary produced by two French filmmakers, brothers who were originally doing a film on a rookie in the FDNY and his initiation into the fold. By pure happenstance, they had their cameras rolling throughout the madness that morning. One was present in the lobby of Tower One, filming the rescue effort and later escape from the remaining tower, surely doomed; the other circled helplessly between the firehouse and the Trade Center, filming the masses transfixed by the burning towers, then the panicked flight north as 2 WTC went down, and finally his own experience, trapped too close to the site as 1 WTC fell.
The shock and denial from that day came flooding back. The guilt, for not being able to help even in miniscule amounts. I, a radio amateur with a commitment to help in emergencies, was improperly equipped.
So why did I turn on the television?
I’ll let you figure that out, because I don’t know the answer.