By Trevor Nozell
On Monday, September 12th, Vermont PBS and the Peace and War Center hosted a showing of “9/11: Inside the Pentagon” in the Kreitzberg Library. This documentary interviewed survivors of the attacks of September 11th, 2001 detailing the unfolding events as American Airline flight 77 collided into the Pentagon, subsequently killing 184 people that were working inside. Students and Dean Talentino began a discussion into the topic of terrorism and its effect on the American society. Students prompted questions and discussed not only the importance but the social ramification the terrorist attack had on our culture in America.
The documentary interviewed and showed accounts of military personnel, civilian contractors, firefighters, and flight controllers as they recount the day as it unfolded. This viewing seemed to focus on the emotional aspect of the events of that day. The Pentagon, being a central command center for the military, proved to be a high-value target for the insurgents. It honed in on the human aspect of the attacks while still showing evidence and facts of that day. The video covered the communications breakdown between the military, civilian, and government agencies. Raw emotion spurred from the confusion was highlighted through the accounts of the individuals telling their stories. Vivid and incredibly realistic descriptions brought back to life the events of the day at The Pentagon. The video was able to capture the high tensions running through the first responders as they performed search and rescue missions throughout the day. Multiple dynamics were covered in the documentary, recounting stories of office workers crawling through thick smoke as they link arms to find an escape out of the quickly collapsing building.
After the viewing, several of the students commented on the moving cinematography and commentary. Explaining what the day personally meant to them, the students looked into the repercussions the events had on our military, socio-economic structure of The United States.
The documentary gave a unique personal perspective into the attacks of September 11th at the Pentagon. Highlighting the emotional and physical traumas that rocked the American people, not just in the building, but across the nation. This viewing was truly unique and expands upon the events and how that has affected the lives of the American people today. You can view this documentary on demand on the PBS website at www.vermontpbs.org.
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