We are the Terrorist Generation.
We are living in a time where it’s disturbingly normal for news to break about another mass shooting, bombing or other act of terror. We don’t only pray for these catastrophes to stop, we pray that when the next one occurs, we are not a part of it.
Terrorism has always existed, but it has never been such large part of everyday life.
The terror epidemic began 17 years ago at a high school in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine will be a name many of us will never forget. Much of Generation Y- hadn’t even graduated high school when this tragedy struck. Many people I know, including myself, were only in elementary school. We were children being hidden from the television because our parents had never seen such a tribulation and did not want us to believe we lived in a world where school was no longer safe. Who could have ever imagined this type of event would have such regularity in the years to come.
A mere two years later, our generation experienced terror once again. Through the eyes of a child we watched thousands of innocent people perish into the ash of the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. Once again our parents had to try and convince us that the world was not evil and that we were safe, however they could not hide the doubt they had in their own words.
Images of a skyline was all that was left. The city of New York and the rest of the world mourned over the unfathomable amount of lives that were gone. The world would never be the same.
As children we began to see the events we had lived through appear in our text books. We watched as our teachers struggled to inform us of the facts while fighting off their own emotions. They were no longer teaching about the past, they were teaching about their lives. Our lives. This wasn’t history, it was a memory.
Almost every year since 2001 there has been a terror attack or situation in the United States and at least one a year in the world. Frankly, to say, “at least one a year”, is unjust. There is terror every single day, we just don’t always hear about it.
Terrorism is not represented by a single face, but by the faces of many. The evil that fuels the fire of hatred does not belong to one particular race, religion or demographic; each and every culture has tried their hand in terrorism.
Those of the Catholic Religion were terrorists when they robbed the innocence of helpless children. The man who stole the lives of families that were only trying to enjoy a movie in Aurora has skin the color of chalk. The man who claimed the lives of the children in Sandy Hook just days before Christmas was American and white as well. Their religions had no baring on the terror, although many believed their mental state was an excuse.
For this behavior, there is no excuse.
Each week another country falls victim to the hashtag #prayfor, because their people have been mutilated and murdered in cold blood. For our generation, although we are saddened each and every time, we are not surprised.
We have grown with the understanding that you are never safe. Not on a plane, not in school, not in the movies or in a mall. There is no where to hide and no one can protect you. Every stranger is a friend and a suspect. To us, terrorism is a part of life. A world without it is about as real as a world with peace.
We are Generation Terrorism, as sad as it is, it’s the truth. This is what we’ve grown up with, this is the world we know. So we will continue to hope for change and #prayfor whenever the world is shaken by a heart-wrenching disaster.