Coast Students Talk Candidly About Terrorist Attacks

The shocking reality of the attacks in New York and Washington, is starting to sink-in for many students at Long Beach High School. Wednesday was the first time the class has opened up discussion on the explosions that shook America.

One student remembers walking down the hall after school Tuesday, and noticed how strange it felt. She says it's a feeling that is hard to describe, because it was so eerie and quiet. Everyone was looking around and asking what happened.

Another student says the attacks were not against the World Trade Center, or against the Pentagon. It was against the U.S. and it could have been anyone of them. The students say the horrific events have brought the nation closer, but tearing apart people at the same time.

One student says everyone's life was somehow altered by this tragedy. She says it's a big shock because it's not supposed to happen. No one attacks the U.S.

But the surprise attacks did happen, and the students want the United States to retaliate against those responsible, but with caution. One student says the explosions just woke us all up. She says the U-S is big and powerful, and we're not going to lie around. Another student says she knows President Bush is not going to sit by, with everyone at his throat, saying "let's do something".

Each student is touched by the tragedy, especially one young lady who has a friend in the Middle East, where some celebrated the attacks on America. She says her friend called to say how sorry she was for the hatred shown in her country. She says she hates to see how the people in her country are so excited to see people die.

The students agree, no matter what happens next, the disturbing images are etched in their minds and have changed their views of the world. One student says as she looks around, she doesn't know who to trust anymore. She even questions whether she can trust her best friend.

Another student says it was everyday people who were killed in the assaults. It was children who came home to find they were suddenly fatherless and motherless. The people were just coming in for an average day of work, and it was just so incredible that their lives were just stripped away from them.

Many students say they were impressed with the media coverage of the attacks, while others say they were shocked at some of the graphic video and interviews. They also hope from now on, the U-S will realize just how vulnerable the country is, and not let our guard down.

By: Trang Pham-Bui