Freedom's Challenge Wright Mills So Term Paper

Total Length: 1077 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 0

Page 1 of 4

I'm not afraid of my school, my teachers, my streets, but somehow inside of me, there is some fear: I know things are different.

Both of my grandfathers served in the Navy during World War II; both fought to protect an idea of freedom and security that was taken away from me at 12. My grandfather was 17 when he was on Iwo Gima - these 17-year-olds did not even respect that which they were taking away.

I am now 18, and I can't imagine having traded prom and homecoming last year for a military-issue weapon and a station in Iraq. I don't even know what it must be like to be an Iraqi - do 12-year-olds there wish they could walk down the street worried only about bullies from the senior high? Abraham Lincoln said, "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." And as we send more and more of my peers - kids my age - across the seas to protect the freedom of others, I wonder more about what it is that I have to begin with?

Is freedom that feeling I lost when I was 12? Was it what was shook on 9/11? Is it being able to play in my front yard and not worrying that I might be bullied, kidnapped, or killed? Does it mean fireworks on the fourth? Apple-picking every fall? Superman lunchboxes? What does it mean to be American?

The America my grandfathers knew was an English-speaking, public-schooled, baseball-loving nation where Joe Damagio was revered and the disappearance of the Lindbergh baby through the whole country up in arms; would their parents even recognize a world with an Amber Alert? Would they know to Dial 1 for English? Would they find a way to occupy themselves inside, where the door can lock behind you to keep away real life?

I would guess they'd carry on, just like we do, and tell their children to be careful outside and rationalize that a 12-year-old maybe should have a cell phone - just in case. In all the wars my grandfathers and great-grandfathers knew before me, only once in 136 years of freedom did that war touch their soil. Only once, one Sunday in 1941, did they taste that kind of fear - until September 11th, 2001, when those who seek to destroy our way of life brought their unholy mission to our shores and I woke up, went to my middle school, and started an 8th grade day like any other, not knowing that my whole world had been shaken.
On September 11th, terrorist fanatics challenged freedom in New York. Two years before that, three bullies on my block did too. Poverty, struggling school systems, broken homes, border security, immigration, new languages - all of these changes we are struggling to accept force us to reconsider all that is "American" and redefine what we are committed to keeping Free.

And so we are faced with a new age of choices, and I don't claim to have any answers. But what I do know, what Mills wrote, and what Simone Weil affirms, is that the prize for freedom is making that choice at all, and "Liberty, taking….....

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?