I just can’t watch

My wife is in watching the History Channel’s broadcast of footage from 9/11/01.  Whenever I walk through the room, it’s like a train wreck you see happening but can’t do a thing about–  I can’t help but look.  But I can’t just sit there and watch.

I have not forgotten.  I can never forget.  I can remember the expression on the man’s face who told me it was not a small plane that hit one of the towers–  nor was it an accident.  But I don’t even want to go into a minute-by-minute description of what I did when where or with whom.  I haven’t forgotten.  I just don’t feel the need to wallow in that time. 

My Dad was a bombardier in World War II.  He flew missions in B-24’s in North Africa and B-17’s out of England.  Before Dad died late last year, one of my nephews asked him how could he get into the plane every time, knowing what was in store.  “Easy,” Dad said, “I figured I was already dead anyway.” 

I remember as a kid, he said that he never even wanted to fly again.   One day he and I took a ride over to the County Airport.  MUCH to my amazement, we got INTO a small plane owned by a co-worker of his and went for a pleasant flight over the area where I grew up.  He flew several more times after that, even to England for a reunion of his bomber group at their old base. 

Dad was great fun to watch WWII movies with.  There would be fighters diving at bombers and Dad would come out with “That model of Focke-Wolf wasn’t out at that time!” or “That bomber group was in the Pacific then!”  When the movie Memphis Belle came out in 1990, he was persuaded to go see it.  Afterwards, I asked him if the film was accurate.  “Yes,” was his reply, “and I never want to see it again.”

That’s kind of the way I feel about 9/11 video.  Some day, I may feel the need to watch it all again. Today is not that day.


One thought on “I just can’t watch

  1. I think everyone remembers where they were when that happened.

    I was listening to a CD when I went to work that day. I got to the building and said my normal cheerful “Good Morning” to the guards, and the look on their faces was complete shock, and they pointed to the television monitor that was showing live coverage.

    I rode the elevator to my floor, the door opened, and I joined a group of people watching. And maybe 5 minutes after I joined, the second tower fell.

    I’ll never forget that day. I try to remember the good stuff. Like how people stood in line for 4 and 5 hours to donate blood. Or how everyone seemed to come together to help those affected out.

    So often as Americans, we tell people that we’re ‘Irish’, or ‘German’ or ‘Italian’ or African American. That day, we were all Americans.

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