Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., (www.intermat.tv)
a television company which executive produces programs and consults
with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc.
is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television
in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the
Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery
Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery
Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted
Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation
Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.
September 13, 2007
The sun is setting slowly over the Hudson River as I rumble
north on the long ride home; it is one of the most beautiful
train rides in the country may be the world. It is
a bucolic moment and I am glad to enjoy it against the backdrop
of a quiet country.
The days preceding the anniversary of 9/11 were beautiful,
eerily similar to the day six years ago. The anniversary fell
on a Tuesday again. Osama Bin Laden was releasing another
video. I felt wary.
When the day dawned it was a wet, rainy, dreary day very unlike
the beauty of the date six years ago. I was relieved.
I was also traveling training down to D.C. for a meeting
and an overnight. Around me, as I did business, the world
paused and remembered and mourned. And like many who lived
in New York that day, I could close my eyes and see the tower
burning and the streams of people moving tearfully up the
street. I can hear the screams as the buildings fell and see
the people running away, even though we were all too far away
to be hurt by falling debris. The images of that day and the
days following, when the city lay under smoke and the stench
of burned plastic, the silence was unearthly and streets were
filled with stunned people, are indelibly burned into my soul.
The crowds have dwindled at the ceremony, now held away from
Ground Zero in a nearby park. In DC the world paused at the
moment when the plane hit the Pentagon and families and friends
stood in the rain in Pennsylvania and wept where Flight 93
crashed. While these things were going on, I was living my
normal life, in a meeting at Discoverys headquarters,
pitching a show to Planet Green.
Yet in the back of my mind, like a program running in the
background, that day was with me and all the things that have
sprung from it. I had just seen ALIVE DAY MEMORIES: HOME FROM
IRAQ, a stunning HBO film interviewing ten men and women who
have returned alive when they should have died. That day is
called their Alive Day. They are missing legs,
arms, brains. They are individuals who have been to the brink
and back and are now and will be for the rest of their lives,
learning to live with what was given to them by their tour
of duty in that dusty Hades.
Whenever I read reports about 9/11, I want to weep and be
comforted. I can weep but I doubt anyone will ever feel the
comfort they need to heal the wounds. While that day will
live forever in the souls of the people who were in those
places on that day, it is also true we must move on, integrate
that horrible moment and keep on going into some brighter
future. The dust of those collapsed towers has obscured a
vision of the future for America.
We are not looking forward. No candidate in this election
has, to date, articulated a vision of America that shouts
the one thing we need: hope. I hear talk of homeland security
and safety but I dont hear hope. These tough
stances mask the fear we feel.
We are sad, embattled and fearful.
Ronald Reagan captured America with the thought: its
morning in America. No great fan of Mr. Reagan, I do think
we need some morning kind of thoughts to bring us back from
the mourning that has subsumed the country and which we have
attempted to distract ourselves from by all kinds of diversions.
But diversions dont deal with the issues and the issues
are what we need to resolve. We need to put 9/11 in perspective
and we need to deal with the choices made by this administration
in dealing with the war on terror. And we need to find a way
to deal with terrorism, by fighting it, understanding it and
showing likely converts alternative dreams for their lives
while we strive for a future that includes hope and solutions
to, not just protection from, the issues that we face.