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As we approach the sixth anniversary of 9/11, sometimes I get the feeling Americans have forgotten what happened that day.
I don’t mean they can’t recall the towers being attacked. I don’t mean they can’t remember the Pentagon being attacked. I don’t mean they can’t still feel the terror of those passengers on four airliners.
What I mean is they no longer have internalized the moral, spiritual and intellectual lessons we all learned that day – every one of us, all Americans, united like never before in my lifetime.
Today, after six years of noise, Americans aren’t even sure if we were actually attacked. They’re not even certain what they saw with their own eyes. Maybe it was an inside job? Maybe it was a plot by President Bush to seize extra-constitutional powers? Maybe Osama bin Laden and those hijackers were fooled into their suicide attacks by unseen hands? Maybe there weren’t even any hijackers on those planes?
According to all the polls, significant percentages of Americans have bought into all of these conspiracy theories.
This column is not addressed to those people. It is addressed only to people who accept that America was actually attacked by Islamo-fascists, that nearly 3,000 people were killed and that 9/11 brought out the best in many of us.
There will be many tributes in the coming days. There will be many efforts to capture the feelings that overcame us that day. There will be memorials. There will be retrospectives. There will be many words written and spoken and many images displayed.
But I doubt there will be anything else like the documentary I just screened called “The Cross and the Towers.”
The movie follows the lives of seven individuals whose lives were changed forever, not only by the events of that day, but by the events of the succeeding days – a horror few Americans yet appreciate.
Day and night they worked until exhaustion overcame them. These were the rescuers, who too often found no one to rescue. Desperately they searched under the debris of Ground Zero for survivors or even bodies they could identify for the relief of family members.
Anxiety and despair overcame them as the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months.
Then they saw it.
Was it a mirage? Were their eyes playing tricks on them? Were their minds deceiving them? Was it real?
It was an amazing discovery that would bring hope when it was needed most – when some of these heroes were reaching their breaking point.
Some called it a “phenomenon.” Others called it a “miracle.” Others dismissed it as an anomaly.
Now, for the first time ever, learn the full story of the twisted metal cross found in a most unlikely place at Ground Zero. Find out from those who discovered it what it meant to them. See for yourself what this memorial has meant to thousands of others who have come to see it since it was put in its final resting place.
“The Cross and the Towers” is full of powerful imagery and powerful stories. It is moving. It is inspirational. It is a message of hope and triumph amid tragedy.
This was unexpected for me – just as 9/11 itself was. But this documentary was welcome in a way I can scarcely verbalize.
Maybe I’ll have to watch it a few more times.
See it soon. See it before next Tuesday if you possibly can.
Order your copy of “The Cross and the Towers.”