The Vindicator asked several teen-agers to tell us what happened when they and their friends heard about the terrorist attacks Tuesday. Here's what they had to say.
SEAN VARSHO, 15, FRESHMANAT FITCH HIGH SCHOOL.
I was glued to the television from the time the first jet hit the World Trade Center.
School [Tuesday] was hectic, filled with screams of sarcasm, but yet tears or fear.
Though most teens covered their fear with sarcasm, some did shed their tears in fear for the future. Something that's on every student's mind: the future. War was a big issue, the draft and such, and surprisingly, most of my peers would definitely fight for our freedom, as would I.
Even those who would not fight wanted to donate blood. No matter what the outcome of this disaster, teens will play a big part in it.
MARK TERLECKY, 17, SENIOR AT BOARDMAN HIGH SCHOOL.
We watched news coverage of today's incidents. I am amazed at how many kids have no idea what is going on in the world. We were watching news coverage in third period and a news reporter said the first suspect was Osama bin Laden.
A senior looked up and asked, "Who is Osama bin Laden?" ... Later on I heard another senior say, "We should just go to war with them and bomb them all."
I asked him what country had committed this act? I told him this was an act of terrorism, not war brought on by another country. Then he says, "I don't know, just bomb the Palestinians or Israel."
I thought Osama bin Laden was thought to be hiding in Afghanistan. ... We had a discussion about the terrorism in our business law class. Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan were represented by & quot;that guy & quot; and & quot;some country & quot; by yet another senior.
What I really can't stand is when students take bits and pieces of information from the media (who said over and over [Tuesday] that none of their reports were confirmed) and talk like they know everything. I think our future is in trouble because we have so many students who only care about what Britney Spears was wearing last night on the Video Music Awards or what the latest video game hype is.
JULIE HOOPES, JUNIOR AT LAKEVIEW HIGH SCHOOL.
Pre-calculus was about to begin when I heard some of my classmates talk about how the World Trade Center just collapsed. I did not believe they were serious at first and thought they were misinformed.
Someone turned on the television and to my dismay, not only had one World Trade Center fallen, but the other one had been hit by a plane too. I was even more shocked to hear that the Pentagon, the building that is supposed to be the symbol of American defense, had been hit too.
I could not believe U.S. intelligence had not known about this and had been able to do something about it. My classmates and I began to discuss how something like this could happen. We were all amazed that someone could organize such an attack.
Everyone began to list who they thought was responsible and why. I had no clue who would do something like this -- I had thought no one would dare to attack America. The principal of my school announced over the intercom that he thought the safest place for us would be at Lakeview High School and that the teachers should turn on their televisions. I was not scared that Ohio would be the next target, but I did wish I lived further from the Ravenna Arsenal Base.
Some students began to worry about friends and family that worked at airports or were visiting New York City and Washington, D.C.
My friends entering the military this summer began to realize that if America did go to war with someone, they would have to fight. The rest of the school day went by slowly, and each teacher discussed the tragedy. The principal later said that all school activities were canceled for the day.
I went home and talked to my parents about the event. They said they remembered when Kennedy was shot and said I would remember this day for the rest of my life.
ASHLEE ZIMMERMAN, 15,
A SOPHOMORE AT WESTERN
RESERVE HIGH SCHOOL.
We didn't have our principal come on the announcements and tell us directly that we were being attacked, but he went around and made sure that all the teachers turned on their TV's and we sat and watched it the whole entire day.
The thought of war is very, very scary considering that we don't know who is going to have to be called out to help.
I know my cousin is in the Marines and they were the first military set out on alert.
Another perspective though is all of the people and other countries that are cheering because this happened to us. I know that we say, "How can they cheer?" But, if you think about it, how many times have we destroyed another country's land. I mean, when we were attacking Iraq, it probably looked just as devastating to them as this does to us.
So, we need to think about that when we are making a decision as to what we are going to do next.
STEPHANIE DAY, 16, JUNIOR AT SPRINGFIELD LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL.
This was such a horrible act of terrorism, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. Something good will come of this. Even if war becomes inevitable, it will all be for a reason. Perhaps it's an excuse for our country to band together. Or maybe it's going to stop other horrible acts from happening in this country. Only the future can reveal the true reason for this horrible war crime.
To cope, I'm going to put all I have into supporting my country. As Americans, we have one of the greatest gifts ever given to man: freedom.
This country stands for everything just, righteous and honorable. It was sickening to see members of other nations cheering on the terrorists. If we stand behind our nation and are proud to be Americans, the United States will show the world that we are indeed a superpower, and that no one messes with us and gets away with it.