September 2001
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Not the Movie: It's Real... And it's Scary
By: Gail Allen, Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, MB

"I've flown on American Airlines before. It's freaky that they could be hijacked," remarks Naomi Reimer, 15. She is one of the many Canadian teens I've spoken to who are shaken by the traumatic terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Her life perspective has been changed forever.

To be in high school in Canada and the U.S. at this moment in time is coming to be a scary thing for some of us. We are thinking about whether our friends, or even ourselves, may be called to war against the horrendous act of terrorism. "Wars are easy to get into, but hard to get out of," comments Sen. Max Cleland, a disabled Vietnam veteran, on the Larry King Live show. I've never lived through a war, but after all the things I've learned about previous wars, I certainly believe his statement.

Corrie Allen,11, who lives in Seattle, used the words "scared" and "sad" often when she talked about the terrorist attacks. Her Dad is one of thousands of Boeing employees who aren't certain how long they'll be on the payroll due to the ripple effects of the attacks. In her school, some of the boys are pretending to be terrorists and law enforcement officers, seeming to create a new form of cops and robbers. When asked about what she would do if she was on a plane with terrorists she replied, "I would phone my family...just to say goodbye".

On every website I've visited on the Internet, and in all the news reports I've seen, the advice for those with young children in their care has been to answer their questions, let them know what's happening. Corrie says she wants to know what's happening, but that the media coverage is becoming almost too much. "...It's kinda scary," she says. And, it is.

What is in the future for those of us who ARE the future? Who knows? Is it possible that the dreams we've had for our future are to be shattered by the Taliban, by their ignorance and hate? I hope not.

It's going to take a lot of love, hope and trust to heal the wounds inflicted by these terrorists. And patience. But the questions so many in the world have asked from the beginning of time remains, "Who should I lean on? Who can be my comfort and confidant?" That's a question the world is now having to find answers. The Taliban must want a place to turn to for support, and Americans are looking for their own supporters against the war on terrorism.

It's a war Corrie Allen doesn't want to be involved in.