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A Changed World
By: Claire Barbour, Age 13
Clarenville Middle School
Clarenville, NF

It seems like the whole world has always been somewhat unreal to me. On the news, in the paper, on the radio, in school, we hear and learn about all these countries. Every single country in this world is home to thousands of people. I know this, but when you're sitting at your desk in school, it's hard to comprehend that compared to your world, you're the size of an ant.

The funny thing about it is that the only time I ever got an inkling of understanding of how minuscule I was, was in a plane, flying over vast oceans and limitless stretches of land.

It makes you think, did those people on the planes that were hijacked realize how their deaths would impact our contented globe? Did they despair that they would rate only a line in the local papers, a ten-second blurb on the five o'clock news? Could they ever think, in their wildest thoughts, before hitting the buildings or ground, that this event would change how one thirteen-year-old girl, thousands of miles away, would view the world they were leaving behind?

Well, it did. It drastically changed my distorted view of the planet I used to so proudly call my home. It turned on its head the only things I had understood about where I lived, my feelings of security lost in an insane panic of "What if that happens here?"

The terrorist attacks were a bloody, painful, excruciating way of making us realize we are not alone in our existence. The billions of others here often do not share our wealth of jobs, home, a good meal on the table each evening, a safe bed to sleep in each night. These war-torn countries, poor and pitiful, have been crying out to us for help for years. It's downright pathetic that we only realize their needs when our own are threatened.

Some Americans and their Allies want to blow up some third-world land mass to vent their frustrations. But guns won't scare off people who would rather risk all chances of a meaningful life to please their leaders. All it would do is further the flames of a fire that already burns in the hearts of so many people.

Some people say that the only way to fight fire is with fire. But how can we fight this fire of hate? With water, food, and shelter. If we don't open our arms, our hearts, and our minds to these people, we're just as bad as the terrorists, too close-minded to see that a country cannot be held responsible for a few people's actions. In our minds we will never forget the tragedy of September 11, 2001. In our hearts we should try and make some good come of it.

Although thousands of families were ripped apart, thousands more will suffer if someone doesn't stop this cycle of violence. And no one's too small to end the cycle. Not even one thirteen-year-old girl from Newfoundland.