UPDATE: This piece was published in the Viewpoints Section of the Sunday, April 29th edition of The Free Lance Star (Fredericksburg, VA). Here's the Link.
Police storming a school. Lines of ambulances with sirens blaring. Candlelight vigils. This all seems far too familiar. Although these scenes currently belong to the horrible events at Virginia Tech, they also serve as grim replays of past school shootings at Columbine and Jonesboro, and in doing so, call to mind how much tragedy and violence this generation of young adults, my generation, has experienced since our formative years. My peers and I have grown up in an unsafe and chaotic world, and if recent events are any indication, our situation won’t be improving any time soon.
We have endured much, my generation. We practiced hiding under our desks after Columbine, attended candlelight vigils for
Our world gets no sunnier once out of
The hits just keep on coming. Our generation has come of age in the dark shadow of global warming, avian flu, roving interstate snipers, AIDS, West Nile virus, the USS Cole bombing, anthrax, sexual predators, weapons of mass destruction, the Axis of Evil, Y2K, shark attacks, dirty bombs, letter bombs, shoe bombs, oil crises, and a litany of other threats, fears, and dangers, each more ominous and deadly than the last. We are told that we are safe but not yet safe, that smoking guns will come as mushroom clouds, and that the worst is yet to come. Things, as they say, are not looking up.
What’s more, despite numerous opportunities to invite this generation to the table and seek our help in improving our world, the powers that be have consistently said “You kids play outside; the grownups have to talk.” After 9/11, we would have done anything for our country, yet our president only asked us to go shopping and resume our regular lives. Unless we plan to join the Army ourselves, it seems that the thing we can do to support our troops in
In spite of this latest tragedy, and the mounting number of tragedies that document my generation, I believe though that we still have the capacity for hope. We hope that some good can come from the loss of life at Virginia Tech. We hope that the families and friends of those affected will find hope and comfort in their time of need. Most of all, we hope that, when it’s our turn, we will create an America far better than the one we inherit, so that the nation we’ve read about in books and watched in movies will be the one we see with our eyes wide open.[Click Here to Read More]