It is a sad by-product of Xi’s virus coverup (and our own governments’ blundering responses) that 9/11 memorials have been curtailed or cancelled this year because of social distancing concerns. As a result, the annual ceremony at Ground Zero will be shorter, with fewer in attendance. While it has become an important way for families to reconnect and support each other, it also helped remind us of what happened. People are forgetting, in some cases willfully. Fortunately, History will premiere two in-depth chronicles of those fateful events tomorrow night, including 9/11: The Final Minutes of Flight 93 (which was the one available for press viewing).
The events of Flight 93 are relatively well established in the public consciousness, thanks to the Paul Greengrass Hollywood movie and excellent documentaries, like The Rugby Player, profiling Mark Bingham, one of the leaders of the passenger revolt. With the passage of time and further development of forensic audio technology, this History production can pinpoint who did what when with even greater accuracy.
Of course, the ultimate implications remain the same. It is still chilling to hear the audio recordings of air traffic control struggling with a horrific situation. Wisely though, it is family members who provide the primary voices, particularly those of Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoagland and Thomas Burnett’s wife, Deanna. They bring tremendous grace and dignity to the television report.
Frankly, a lot of the program’s emphasis on new material really isn’t that compelling, like when a voice expert analyzes voice-graphs of the terrorists in the cockpit. It is good that the evidence is still being closely examined, but most viewers will probably agree their time is better spent when the program lets family members tell us about the passengers and crew.
9/11: The Final Minutes of Flight 93 airs tomorrow (9/11) on History, followed by 9/11: The Pentagon, which could be very valuable, because the attack in Arlington is often overshadowed by the other tragedies that day.