Sunday, September 11, 2005

Witness to Tragedy

Four years ago today, on a Tuesday morning as I was preparing to head out the door to work, I flipped on the Today Show. I remember telling my wife, as I watched the live feed, "Hey, it looks like the World Trade Center is on fire." Shortly after that, I watched in horror as a commercial jet crashed into the second tower.

That day, we experienced a terrible tragedy as a nation. (Of course, my experience, from the landlocked and directly unaffected Hoosier state, was nothing in comparison to those in New York, DC, and Pennsylvania.) For all the "couch potato" and "vast wasteland" pejoratives that are thrown at television and television watchers, it was the TV that riveted us in the heartland that day. It brought home the terror of the victims and the excruciating panic and grief of the survivors.

TV may be rightly subject to the accusation of contributing to a parade of horribles, but on September 11, 2001, TV bore witness to a tragedy and, in doing so, united us as a nation in grief and resolve.


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