It was one of the most shocking, horrific events the United States had ever seen. On September 11th, 2001, terrorists put a long-time, detailed, multi-faceted plan into action. Nineteen terrorists who were all members of al-Qaeda, a militant Islamist organization, hijacked four commercial airliners.
Two planes were deliberately flown into towers one and two of the World Trade Center in New York City. A third plane was crashed into the Pentagon and the fourth plane was crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers rebelled against the hijackers and attempted to take back control of the plane. Nearly 3000 people died as a result of these attacks.
Media coverage of these events was extensive and continuous. As a result, it's hard not to recall exactly where you were and what you were doing when you first heard that the United States had been attacked. Regarding films, do you recall what was in theatres that week? Probably not. At that time real life was definitely stranger than fiction.
Across the country, Hollywood films in production were also directly affected by the devastation in the East. Several large film productions were stopped following the terrorist attacks. At that time, the productions continuance was unknown. Some movie studios even decided to delay their upcoming releases based on scripts that included terrorist plots or shots of the World Trade Center. "Collateral Damage," a Warner Brothers film, had a long scene in which there was an explosion in a skyscraper. The then new "Spider-Man" trailer was held back since there were several shots of both of the towers of the World Trade Center.
As the world watched, the United States of America gradually moved past the vicious attacks and continued living without forgetting those who died that day. Part of that healing included continuing a great tradition of cinema, one of the country's favorite pastimes. Although the phrase "Never forget" will always be a part of the consciousness of those of us who will truly never forget that day, we can also appreciate the fact that terrorism attempted to break the spirits of millions of Americans but was unsuccessful. Even now we live, laugh, and love… and go to the movies.