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It’s been ten years since 9/11, and the anger, resentment and feelings of what-if haven’t subsided for most people. In some ways, that’s a good thing. It means we remember and that it still hurts, but there’s a fine line between wishing we could have done something and publicly vowing we would have acted differently than the victims. Earlier this week in an interview with Men’s Journal, Mark Wahlberg crossed that line, and now he’s backtracking as quickly as possible.
The actor purchased a ticket for one of the two planes that ultimately crashed into the World Trade Center Towers, but luckily, he never boarded the flight. When asked about that fateful day, he said the events would have been a whole lot different were he on board. Here’s the quote…
"If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn't have went down like it did. There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, 'OK, we're going to land somewhere safely, don't worry.’”
Every time I see the footage of 9/11, it produces an emotional and visceral reaction. It makes me wish I had been in New York so I could have helped victims, or on one of those planes so I could have fought like hell, but the truth is, my presence wouldn’t have changed anything. Those poor people had no idea what their fates were going to be. They thought they were being hijacked for ransom, not used as a fucking battering ram. And the passengers on the other plane who did find out their fates fought like heroes to save American lives. It’s ignorant and offensive to assume any single person, given the information the passengers knew, would have altered what happened in anyway.
Thankfully, Mark Wahlberg seems to have come around to that opinion, and he offered a statement of apology to everyone his what-if hurt. Here’s a portion of it thanks to Reuters…
"To speculate about such a situation is ridiculous to begin with, and to suggest I would have done anything differently than the passengers on that plane was irresponsible. I deeply apologize to the families of the victims that my answer came off as insensitive, it was certainly not my intention.”
I think Mark Wahlberg is probably a good guy. I think, like most people, he likes to hope he could have done something to help. That’s a good urge, but it’s no more true than it is worth expressing in public.