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Word Count: 818
REACHING OUT TO AMERICAS FUTURE As we stand at the dawn of a new century - indeed a new millenium - we look toward the future of our country and our world and dream of a making a better life for all people American teenagers and young adults have been preparing to take our place in the shaping of our countrys future as we become old enough to vote and use our political voice to make changes we believe will lead to that better life Until recently we assumed that we Americas youth were the only ones who held the power to shape that future Our great country has long been a beacon of democracy and personal liberty for many other societies wishing to attain our ideals of freedom - freedom of speech religion and freedom of thought and basic human rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness But on September 11 the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon brought the painful realization that we can no longer look at the future as simply young Americans - we are young Americans living in an age of international business and global community The brutal acts of terror were perpetrated by a handful of individuals whose objective was supposedly to cleanse their religion of outside influence by the United States and other westernized nations But many of the 6000 people who lost their lives were not Americans but citizens of other nations and religions Those who lost their lives were not military personnel engaged in a declared war against an opposing nation This was not just an attack on America but an act of aggression against all humanity regardless of nationality race or religion The people who lost their lives werent international leaders or heads of state - they were grandparents aunts and uncles going about their daily lives They were brothers and sisters rushing to save their co-workers
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