Saturday, October 07, 2006

Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" calls to mind Taily's question: "What is the worth of a blade of grass?" In the awful carnage that occured on the day that changed the world, Stone focuses his attention on just 2 police officers trapped in the rubble.

McLaughlin and Jimeno, 2 of 5 volunteers who swallow their fear and venture forward to assist in the evacuation of the towers. But here's the thing: before they even have had a chance to help anyone, the sky has already fallen on their heads and they lie buried 20 feet below visible light.

Stone ignores the major tragedy and loss of life and keeps our attention on the efforts of the two men who though separated and out of sight of each other keep each other alive by exchanging stories about their loved ones.

When word gets out that the two are still alive, the news mobilizes whole battalions of emergency and rescue personnel. Though only a few men can actually work on extricating them, due to the tight confines they are trapped in, when they each finally break the surface, the welcome they get from the hundreds of PD and FD volunteers is overwhelmingly tremendous. Everyone is just so happy to see them alive, and anxious for them to return home to their families.

Only 20 people got pulled out alive from the wreckage in which nearly 3,000 perished. Jimeno and MacLaughlin were numbers 18 and 19. But as in the story of the lost sheep, there is great rejoicing when the single lost sheep has been found.

What's the value of a blade of grass? Taken out of context, it means nothing. But when we connect its roots to the field it belongs in, it's true value is actually quite astonishing.

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