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World of terror: A generation’s curse

Matt Meusel, R1 Features Editor

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Try to read the following sentence and not feel sick to your stomach:

“I’m not even surprised anymore when there’s another shooting or bombing,” said junior James McCutcheon. “I’m used to it.”

My peers and I have grown up in a world of terrorism and horrific acts of violence. We know nothing other than a world of mass shootings, bombings in public squares and constant attacks in schools across the country.

The War on Terror has been going on since 9/11, virtually our entire lives. Even if we just look at the last few years, there have been some of the most horrific acts in history.

Newtown, 2012. Boston Marathon, 2013. Paris, 2015. Orlando, 2016. Las Vegas, 2017. Parkland, 2018. This list could go on and on.

Some members of Gen Z feel that they’ve had to grow up pretty quickly because of the world we live in. “We have to take responsibility for ourselves and be mature when we do everyday things,” said senior Maddy Love. “We always have to think one step ahead and be cautious everywhere we go.”

Nothing can be taken for granted anymore. We live in an unprecedented age of terror. It can feel like it’s never-ending—it’s just hit after hit after hit.

It’s unsettling and absolutely terrifying.

We’ve become so used to seeing these horrific acts in our news feeds that it almo

Photo by Wikimedia Commons
Virginia Tech, 2007.

st doesn’t faze us. “People are used to all these school shootings happening all the time and all this violence,” said Marielle Brown, a mother in the WHS community.

This generation knows nothing else. I know nothing else. I don’t know a time of peace. Yes, I live in Westfield, a very safe town, but I’m not oblivious to the dark world around me.

Sophomore Kevin Yucetepe echoes these thoughts: “Unfortunately, members of Generation Z have been exposed to countless examples of terrorism at such a young age,” he said. “It is not as shocking to hear about a shooting today as it was 10 or more years ago.”

I hope that the world can be a safer place. But I’m also a realist, and this world of chaos doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

But if we just look at what has been going on in these last few months with the March for Our Lives protests, there has been impressive leadership from within the Gen Z community. This dark world has given us a reason to stand up. We may be young and afraid, but we are powerful.

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World of terror: A generation’s curse