Reflections on September 11

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I awoke the morning of September 11th in the usual manner, my T.V. was programmed to turn on at 7 a.m. and so it was no accident that the news was on, still something was different. There was no banter between Katie Couric and Matt Lauer and they were not talking about the usual trivialities, instead there was ³live² coverage of ³big² events unfolding in downtown Manhattan. Though I still felt groggy, I tried to focus in on the T.V., I saw smoke billowing from the World Trade Center Towers, notice plural, I was sure that although I couldn¹t see the second tower it must be hidden behind the plumes of smoke. But then Katie Couric spoke about how the missing tower had just collapsed, that woke me upthe news was big.

I was glued to my television, every channel, every radio station, in every language dealt with the events unfolding in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. All the ³top² network news anchors were on the job, which spoke to the gravity of the situation. It¹s always a sign that the news is big when you have Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, and Peter Jennings in their respective anchor chairs.

Still, no matter what channel your television was tuned to the images were the same, planes slamming into buildings, mass chaos, and utter disbelief. Although it sounds cliché, the scenes unfolding on our television screens didn¹t appear real, they looked too ³Hollywood¹isque,² except there were no superhuman heroes to save the day.

Then there was the analysis and commentary, anchors pontificated about how ³the unthinkable had happened,² about how ³terrorism² had invaded America, and about how this signaled the beginning of war. The biggest concern of course was, what was going to h...

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...irst century. The irony is not lost that in postaffirmative action states like California, low income and traditionally underserved students while limited in their pursuit of higher education are now being heavily courted to join the military. In lieu of this fact, media literacy is fundamental. Young recruits like the general public need to understand that war is not sanitary. Much of the images we are privy to have been filtered and screened to limit war¹s true carnage. However, this war is different, thanks to technology we can see events unfolding before our eyes, the question is whether we have the skills to deconstruct what others want us to see and understand what we need to know?

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