kill

INDEPENDENT LENS
National Bird

 

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film National Bird, Heather, a former U.S. military drone pilot who is now a masseuse, talks about the emotional distress caused by knowing she was responsible for the deaths of people, something she tried to push out of her mind but found impossible to shake. “You see someone die, because you said it was okay to kill them,” she says.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
The Forgotten Plague


By the dawn of the 19th century, the deadliest killer in human history, tuberculosis, had killed one in seven of all the people who had ever lived. The disease struck America with a vengeance, ravaging communities and touching the lives of almost every family. The battle against the deadly bacteria had a profound and lasting impact on the country. It shaped medical and scientific pursuits, social habits, economic development, western expansion, and government policy. Yet both the disease and its impact are poorly understood: in the words of one writer, tuberculosis is our “forgotten plague.”