Murdoc and his family just returned from the Gerald R. Ford Museum where we took part in the Scout Salute, a sun-up to sun-down salute of the US Flag put on by the Gerald R. Ford Council of the Boy Scouts of America. We stood in the rain, saluting to pay our respects to those who fell that day and to honor those who have served to protect our nation and communities in the days since.
I was struck by the fact so many of the young men (and some young women from various organizations) had been so very young or not even born nine years ago. It is the nature of things to fade into history and for the significance of things to change when it did not occur within memory. My son and daughter saw the news reports that day, but they’ll pretty much live their whole life in a “post-9/11” world. They know it was terrible. They know it was significant. But I wonder how different from Pearl Harbor it will seem in their minds.
I’ve at least wanted to make sure that my son had a better understanding of what we were honoring and what we were promising to never forget. One thing we did was watch United 93 together. I think that film does a pretty good job showing the way things unfolded.
The first chapter summarizes activity, flight by flight, in the air and on the ground during the time of the hijackings. One story I wasn’t familiar with took place on American 11, the first plane hijacked and the first to be flown into its target, the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
As this was happening, passenger Daniel Lewin, who was seated in the row just behind Atta and Omari,was stabbed by one of the hijackers—probably Satam al Suqami, who was seated directly behind Lewin. Lewin had served four years as an officer in the Israeli military. He may have made an attempt to stop the hijackers in front of him, not realizing that another was sitting behind him.
What a difference one man might have made.