Much of our focus today on 9/11 has been on the World Trade Center, which is where most of the victims died.  We need to also remember the heroes of United 93, the first Americans to fight back against the radical Islamists who conspired to murder thousands of Americans eight years ago today. Forty passengers and crew had enough time and information to understand that this was not going to be a normal hijacking but a suicide mission, and organized the first counterattack against al-Qaeda. They died when their counterattack panicked the hijackers into plunging the aircraft into the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, thwarting their efforts to hit either the White House or Capitol Hill to complete their destruction.

Unlike the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, there is no video of the attack or the destruction of the immediate moment. I did find a couple of YouTube videos that show the initial media reaction to the crash, which are interesting in the caution we took not to leap to conclusions about United 93. Only after a few days did we get the bigger picture of what happened on that flight, through the statements of family and friends who received final phone calls from the heroes on this flight, and the recovery of the flight recorders confirmed their heroism.

After my show this afternoon, my wife and I plan to watch United 93, an excellent and haunting film about the heroes who fought against the terrorists in those horrible first hours. We’ll also watch World Trade Center, Oliver Stone’s masterful retelling of the rescue of two first responders in New York City. If I have any time left afterwards, I plan on watching a couple of the better documentaries from the History Channel on the day’s events; if I don’t get to them tonight, I’ll watch them this weekend.

It will be hard to watch these, but moving, and necessary if we wish to honor those who died and those who risked their lives to save others.

Update: I watched both videos in their entirety, but somehow I missed the Truther blurb at the end of the first one.  I apologize for that mistake; I removed it.