It’s been 19 years since the 9/11 attacks on America, and I for one am still drawn to the subject as I am to very few others.
Now, I’m no fanatic, mind you, obsessively diving into the minutia of that day to the exclusion of all other fields of interest, combing through the myriad of details 24/7 for some lost nugget of truth and passing it on to other likewise-minded obsessives. I am, however, just about always going to stop and pay attention when I see or hear any mention of that day, be it in print, in the media or in passing conversation.
There are other things out there that can pull my attention like the events of that day in 2001 — some, admittedly, as sensational and ghoulish, some of no particular import to anyone but me. I have read a lot about the Johnstown Flood of 1889 that killed more than 2,200 people, but I am also very interested of the daily doings of the actors that formed the casts of some of my favorite TV shows, now cancelled. I have been known to spend unseemly amounts of time on the internet hunting down gossip and images of Richard Dean Anderson, an actor/producer who — it would seem, by the number of hits registered on his website — has quite the following.
I also have a thing for Bigfoot, but I consider that a personal failing — what can ya do?
Today the news networks will be overflowing with stories about the attacks 18 years ago. The History Channel has scheduled about 20 hours of back-to-back programming of that day. The documentaries will begin at about 6 a.m. and continue until about 3 a.m. the next morning — just one right after another; some might even be presented without commercial interruption. Too bad I will be busy most of the day, but I will watch what I can.
Some of the documentaries will be repeats, other will be new productions. The one new production I am most looking forward to is about what happened aboard Air Force One that day, its comings and goings, who was on it and how the crew handled everything. The promotions for the show hint at “newly declassified” material being a part of the narrative, and that is what piqued my interest, really, along with the fact that this production is a new and different look at that day.
I’ve been told by people I trust that Air Force One flew very low over Lamar County the day after the attacks, with a pair of fighter jets in attendance. The witness told me the planes flew so low to the ground it was possible to make out the distinctive markings on the plane, and it was very loud. The route took it northeast to southwest, making it a very good assumption the plane was headed to Crawford, outside Waco, where the president has a ranch. I’ve never heard anything about AF1’s activities in any media reports, outside of the president’s comings and goings, so I am hoping to get some confirmation from the new documentary.
My abiding interest in 9/11 recently lead me to pick-up “Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11,” by Mitchell Zuckoff, a reporter for The Boston Globe that day. I have only just begun this nearly 600-page tome, but I am impressed with the writing so far. If the more than 50 pages of notes in the back of the book are anything to judge by, the research and attributions will be impressive. I am nearly through the prologue and have already learned a thing or two about al-Qaeda and bin Laden.