By Sara Scheler
We are all old enough to remember the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Most of us probably remember where we were when it happened. I was at home, young, and confused about what the Trade Center was and what happened inside of it.
When the towers fell, my 8-year-old self had no concept of terrorism or extremists or suicide bombers. I knew little about our country short of the president’s name. I never watched the news and I thought newspapers were only read by old men and people on TV.
It wasn’t until recently that I started taking an interest in national and international news. The world has changed so much in the five or six years that I have been paying attention. We have gotten used to airport security and can barely remember what life was like before—when were allowed to keep our shoes on and didn’t have to be exposed to radiation before boarding a flight. Now, we are used to seeing militants, demonstrators and bombings on TV. Words like “terrorist” and “extremist” have become almost mundane.
I know life will never go back to the way it was before 9/11 and, at the same time, I feel like my world is shrinking. Things that once seemed so far away suddenly feel frighteningly close.
As ISIS continues to gain power in the Middle East, it often feels safer not to know about the turmoil that is occurring across the ocean. It is much easier to switch the channel, put down the newspaper and shut it all out. However, things change so rapidly that I can no longer ignore what is happening. It is more important now than ever to stay up-to-date on what is going on around the world.
We cannot discount the importance of reading the news and understanding what is going on around us. News gives us the ability to recognize turmoil and sense the issues of our world and its people. Most importantly, our press enjoys freedoms that other countries do not. All we have to do is pay attention.