It’s a difficult thing to accept there was nothing you could do to help someone in a life-threatening situation — much less hundreds of “someones.”
But you and I aren’t an Iron Man, a Captain America or a Thor. For my part, I arrived to witness the destruction at the Pentagon on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, in less than 15 minutes after terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into a newly refurbished wedge.
You see, in my day job, I’m a security communicator. As an independent reporter, I spent the next 10 years exploring the question of what could we have done to save those lives, and what can we do to prevent or mitigate future catastrophes of a similar scale?
Here in Washington, DC, teams of people got to work on different aspects of the problem, and some policymakers produced the National Response Plan, a policy that emphasizes the protection of lives and critical infrastructure.
It’s rare that the developers of such policy are the ones who also carry it out, but in the movie world of the Avengers, characters like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers get to do just that. They are fictional superheroes who get to represent what is best in all of us as viewers and readers. As a long-time comic book collector, I know and appreciate their world as well.
And so it’s absolutely refreshing that these movie characters appropriately put a great emphasis on avoiding the loss of human life. Spoilers lie ahead for Avengers: Age of Ultron.