When I was visiting Mary and Frank Fetchet at the Voices of September 11th offices in New Canaan, Connecticut last month, I met Linda Ellman, the director/producer of the documentary “On Native Soil” which chronicles the effort to effort to create the “9/11 Commission” and follows its proceedings. I had not seen the movie when it first came out, but thanks to wonders of Netflix I was able to get a copy to watch.
It is a compelling and wrenching movie which brings the viewer back to the events of 9/11, and then to the days, weeks and years afterwards. There are interviews with many of the key participants like family members like Mary and Frank, 9/11 Commission members, witnesses, and other experts. It is co-narrated by Kevin Costner and Hilary Swank. The movie is very informative and is dramatic without being sensationalistic. I recommend it to anyone interested in the topic.
But the thing that I found most striking — and relevant for this blog — about the film is the way it shows how the persistent actions of average citizens — in this case people like Mary and Frank Fetchet and other family members making sure there was a 9/11 Commission — can make a difference and move the levers of government. It is a lesson that every school child — and a lot of adults — should see.