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THE MORNING BUZZ: Do people really want to revisit 9/11?

9 Sep, 2002 By: Stephanie Prange

My grandmother never saw the movie Titanic, despite the hoopla, the Oscars and the fact that it was a historical epic, her favorite genre.


She didn't want to relive a horrific event she remembered from her youth. Although she was a child when the disaster happened, it still resonated with her such that she didn't want to be reminded of it even decades and decades later.

Until this past weekend, I felt much the same about the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I saw no point in looking back at those events, choosing instead to push it from my mind. I would turn the television channel whenever the burning towers appeared and consciously avoided news reports about the event. I had no interest in watching video screeners of the multiple documentaries produced for the anniversary.

Many in the industry interviewed for our story on 9/11 videos felt much the same way. “It's just too much, too soon,” said Flash Distributors' president Steve Scavelli, who was at the Twin Towers immediately following the attacks and joined the early rescue efforts. Mick Blanken, owner of Super Hitz Moviez and Gamez in Delaware, Ohio, said he would not carry any videos on the event. “I am just not interested in perpetuating the horror,” he told Video Store Magazine.

That's the way I felt leading up to this anniversary week. Then I found myself mesmerized by TV coverage over the weekend. It became a kind of catharsis to look back at an event that will forever mark my life. Like those who remember what they were doing the day JFK was shot, I will forever vividly recall the sights and sounds of my daughter's first day of school, which happened to be Sept. 11, 2001.

I was getting ready to take her to school when I heard the garage door raising. My husband, who had just left for work, was returning to tell me a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Then we flipped on the television. We tried to keep my 3-year-old from watching footage of the towers, but that night she revealed she had taken a peek.

“When are they going to put that fire out, Mommy?” she asked.

I knew in my heart it would take a long time.

I think I am suddenly drawn to videos and television coverage of this event because I want to stay angry, because complacency is what the terrorists have counted on all along. I wouldn't be surprised if retailers see a sudden uptick in interest in anniversary videos this week, despite the calm before. Perhaps we are now ready to face the horror. While my grandmother could escape stories of the Titanic, I need to keep 9/11 and all its anguish and heroism in mind – because we still haven't put out that fire.

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