By Alexander T. Riley
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Extra resources for Angel patriots : the crash of United Flight 93 and the myth of America
57 He abruptly told her, “I gotta go,” and ended the call. At 9:44, he made his third call, this one of just under a minute in duration. , might have been the one on which her husband was traveling. She quickly told him of the latest strike, and he repeated the news to those around him. He asked her if she had learned anything more since the last call regarding the responsible parties or the overall terrorist plot and the planes involved. She told him: “They think five airplanes have been hijacked.
Collective memory is not only ideas, but also practices. ”70 Part of the problem of ever getting to the “true” story of any historical event is the lack of completeness. Any story of 9/11 that aspired to completeness would have to include elements that are never presented in most mainstream narratives of the event, such as the experiences of people who were not at all touched by the event despite living very close to the various sites at which the dreadful action unfolded. 71 A few minutes of video from the CameraPlanet archive on 9/11 apparently shot by a group of young men watching the first tower collapse from their apartment is further bracing evidence of just how startlingly blasé people (and perhaps especially those living in a major metropolis such as Manhattan) can be in reaction to even the seemingly most astounding, unprecedented things.
Kagan’s rejection of all historical and cultural context as secondary at best to the issue betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the deeply situated nature of human life and meaning-making. His approach also fails to come to terms with the purely emotional power of story and narrative in human life. Death, like all other meaningful components of a human life, is something that requires narration in order for humans to understand it. Logic would purport to strip away narrative in order to get to the “truth,” but logic is itself a kind of story, albeit frequently a comparatively boring, one-dimensional, and emotionally handicapped one that does not move many of us nearly as much as some other narratives do.