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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The RIGHT edge

Airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center and the building toppled to the ground. It didn’t seem real watching it on TV. It was as though Godzilla threw some paper airplanes and the wooden blocks went flying on a child’s video game. Except this wasn’t a game, those weren’t toy planes, and the building couldn’t just be swept up and stacked together again. Those were hijacked passenger jets and the world’s icon for capitalism lay on top of thousands of American bodies, shattering dreams across the nation.

I gripped the couch pillow while I stared at the images on the television screen. This isn’t real. Terrorists? Flashes of the film “Delta Force” with Chuck Norris single-handedly combating hijackers from Beirut, Lebanon cross my mind, but I can’t hear the victorious music that trumpets when the good guy wins. All I hear is deafening silence and I choke because I realize that a parasite has invaded America’s security and sanctity. Then it hits me: We’re at war.

When I signed up for the Army Reserves I knew there was always the possibility that there could be a major war with America’s involvement in my lifetime and I could get activated. There were no guarantees and I understood the ramifications when I signed that dotted line. I don’t regret joining, not for a second; but somehow now at the brink of America’s inevitable counterattack I wonder if I will truly learn what it means to be an American soldier.

I feel as though going through the motions meant I was faking it, putting on a show and now I wonder to what limits I will be allowed to help, being a female in the Army. When I enlisted I wanted to know that someday when I have a family of my own and I tuck my children in bed at night I could feel in my heart I really did contribute to their safety. “Mommy’s gonna make sure you are warm and safe and that no one is going to hurt you.”

I can only image what the mothers cradling their children while glimpsing out the little oval windows as they glided horrified towards the World Trade Center or the Pentagon thought. An innocence was lost that day. One of the main things that differentiates America so profoundly from Third World countries is the fact that we can go to bed at night and not think twice about whether or not we are going to get bombed in our sleep. It has been over 50 years since Pearl Harbor and in my little lifespan, I have never considered the threat of terrorism; I never had to.

Now I wait anxiously for Bush to order to strike. With the accessibility to nuclear weapons and the multiple countries’ interest in this matter, I hold my breath in hopes that things will work out in the end; that America will win back its security with the least amount of lives lost. There is no true winner in a war and in a sense both sides play God when they choose the fates of those they kill but humanity is not always so humane. I like many other soldiers await to see how this game will play out.

About the Contributor
Felicia Whatley served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Managing Editor: Spring 2009 *News Editor: 2009-2010 *Whatley served alongside Caleb Nelson for these years.