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Teens have opinions & they should be heard
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

Some (6,414) are dead, 33,184 wounded and still more in active combat. Debt beyond liberation and yet more being dispensed for Iraq and Afghanistan every day. Hearts that are broken and in despair, and more coffins are still to come. How many more mom, dads, sisters, wives, husbands, and children have to say goodbye to their loved ones before we put an end to this war?

I am well aware that the public is informed of the disastrous effect this war has had on not only our country and the countries we are engaging in war but on our people. The reason behind this essay is I have recently been enlightened to the fact that the young adults of our generation have no voice in this matter. Regardless of the fact that whatever decisions and mistakes they make now, we are the ones that will have to live in the end results of those actions.

Statistics say that kids are too wrapped up in themselves and are too immature to care or know about this matter. I am here to tell you, that you are wrong. Ask yourself if the children who watch that flag, covered coffin lower their parent into the ground if they do not care. Ask yourself if the children whose stomachs are never full, because their parents can’t afford it if they do not care. It is true that some may not care, but could it be because we are always being shut down and because we have never had a chance to show you the depth of our understanding and concern?

At the age of 16 we are allowed to drive, a privilege that can turn deadly. From the tender age of 6 we go to school, saying goodbye to the safe world by our parents’ side. We are allowed to have jobs and are expected to act like adults, telling us to be responsible and make good choices. Yet when it comes to something important like our future, we are voiceless and helpless to the decisions that adults make. How is it possible for adults who know nothing about what it’s like to live in our generation, can make decisions about our future when they will not have to live through the consequences? Our generation is only corrupted and selfish because you have put us in that position. Taking away our voice, telling us not to worry and be young while we can, but yet we are condemned for doing the very thing you advised us to do.

Although we are young and have less experience than our elders, that does not mean we do not have opinions and can’t help our country. Let us speak, is all I ask. Let us try and save our future. Hear our voice, before it gives out. Adults may have wisdom and experience over us, but sometimes that merely means their eyes are clouded by the past and can no longer have a clear view of the future.

Taleah Garza


May 4, 2012