Greengrass was fortunate to have had cooperation from many of the passengers' family members. On a DVD provided by Universal Pictures, David Beamer, the father of Todd Beamer, who famously uttered the words "let's roll," said: "This war and that attack on our homeland that day rages on and isn't over. The enemy has not been defeated. The enemy has not surrendered. The enemy's purpose to take away our freedoms and way of life is still very much with us. If this project helps remind us of this, it's important and very timely." David Beamer added, "This is part of our history. It is an accurate account of our first counterattack in this war."
Elsa Gronlund Strong, sister of passenger Linda Gronlund, said: "Terrorism is unlike any other war and can't be fought in the same way."
None of the passengers is identified by name. There is no time for introductions. They not only share a sense of ultimate danger; they also share a sense of ultimate purpose. This is a value we like to think is, if not uniquely American, than a unique character trait of free people. These are Americans banding and bonding together in the sudden realization that they are part of an enormous event. There are no politicians leading them, no military officers commanding them. They more than rise to the occasion, they transcend it by doing the right thing and exemplifying true heroism.
Yes, the film is difficult to watch, but that should not be an excuse not to watch. Vivid pictures of the consequences of drug use, promiscuous sex, drinking and driving and other harmful behavior have long been used to cure apathy and to positively motivate. This film demonstrates the consequences of not being prepared and the wisdom of constant vigilance.
The show business publication Variety reported that studio tracking of "United 93" shows a high percentage of people are "definitely not interested" in seeing it, though by a slim margin, the picture is the top choice among males. It should be a top choice for everyone. "United 93" is a valuable weapon in our counterattack against terrorism. No American should miss it.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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