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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

7 Days Later…

As I sit here typing this, I’m constantly reminded about what happened on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, as planes take off from Logan International Airport and fly directly over my home near East Boston, Massachusetts. As I sit typing, I stop frequently, and listen to jet engines lifting planes up into the air. I sit perfectly still until I am sure that I do not hear a crash long after each plane is airborne. I’m scared that one of these times I’m going to hear that crash, and I pray to God each time that I never do.

Thousands of people lost their lives, and their loved ones may never learn the true reasons why. All they are left with is the grave truth that their mother, father, sister, brother, daughter or son is now dead. And the only tangible reason that’s been given is, because some other human beings, some where out in the world dislikes what this country stands for.

The U.S. has been forced into a state of wariness and mourning. The airline industry stopped its operations for two days and the stock market closed its doors for four. Professional sports ceased its events for a few days as well. Major league baseball shut down for the first time since World War II, and the NFL, who did not even postpone its games the weekend after JFK was killed, didn’t want to make the same blunder twice. Surely, nothing looks as it once appeared in the U.S. And the skyline of New York City is the first testimony to that fact. I can’t even begin to imagine the real-life sight of those two 110-story buildings now lying in a heap of twisted metal, broken concrete and glass, and thousands of lost lives.

I can, however, begin to feel the sorrow that one young woman witnesses everyday in New York City since the fateful day. Loredana Buonopane is a 26 year old, fashion editor for TEEN Magazine, and is originally from Boston, but now lives in the City. One week after the attack, she says, “The City seems to be meandering back to work. You feel guilty for going back to work, but you can’t do much else.” It seems that sadness, loss, anguish and fear fills the streets of Manhattan and spill over into the rest of our lives.

Buonopane also says that Union Square, where she works, has become a makeshift memorial site with pictures of missing people, candles, flowers and that walking down the street is simply “sad.” “You just want to do something to help.” The smell in and around the City has been described as an “acrid metallic smell” or as a “burnt-out electronics board,” but for Buonopane the smell isn’t even an issue. “At first, you could smell it all the way to Queens, but now I’ve become immune to it.”

She believes that getting life back to normal- or as close to normal as possible- will be the best thing for everyone, but it’s going to take a very, very long time. People in cities all across the country have been quoted making similar statements. Life in America is slowly starting to regain its pace- airports are reopened, the Stock Market is up and running, and the NFL is going ahead as planned for the rest of their season. But there still might be some people who feel a slight anxiety when going to work in America’s tall buildings. Boston’s Prudential Building was evacuated 4 times within one week of the terrorists’ attacks which, I’m sure will leave a lot of people on edge for a very long time.

On the other hand, when asked if she was afraid to go to work near one of Philadelphia’s tallest buildings, One Liberty Place, Lisa Gervasi, of South Philadelphia, replied: “Not really. I think if something’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. I pray to God that it doesn’t, and that my kids are never affected by this, but life goes on.” Clearly, that is the attitude that our President, George W. Bush is calling for from the American people. Don’t be afraid to live your life, because that’s exactly what they want you to do. Once you’ve stopped living your life because of fear, then the terrorists have accomplished what they set out to do. We must remember what President Bush told us: “Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done,” and this must be the bond that ties us together…