From the Holocaust during World War II to the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001, mass murders by men targeting other men have been prevalent throughout history. While these are only two of the gargantuan murders that reached an end, we are still at risk of such atrocities today.
Genocide Watch, for example, has issued a Genocide Emergency alert for Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, and numerous other countries. The FBI constantly warns U.S. citizens of possible terrorist attacks. A genocide is defined as “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular group or nation.” Terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Additionally, gun, drug, and gang violence are amongst the current cornucopia of murder motives.
With all of these cases, it is important to remember that specific individuals are victims in each.
“It breaks my heart to see people being slaughtered for certain beliefs,” said Josie Benjamin, a junior at a Palos Verdes high school. “We are all individuals; it is inevitable and justified that we each have independent values.”
The 2017 Vegas shooting, Manchester concert bombings, Nice terror attack, ISIS beheadings, and the Mexican drug cartel war of 2006-2011 has caused tens of thousands of deaths alone. These five events are merely the widely known ones; countless persons are killed by the hands of others throughout the world.
Progress has been made since the endings of tragic, horrific historical events and yet, ignorant individuals still cause the same horrors repetitively. For example, the United Nations was formed in 1945 after WWII and its atrocities (including the Holocaust), in an attempt “to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security.”
“At my school, I learned what it means to be a global citizen,” said junior Marin Tchen, a classmate of Benjamin. “Global citizens are those who keep open minded to thoughts of others… but still hold independent opinions that contribute meaningfully to the community.”
Ultimately, it is our job to develop into generations that further encourage ethical relationships and sympathy for one another. Our contributions as global citizens start with genuine care towards others who also contribute to how our world will be remembered.
“I think any individual has the right to freedom of thought and expression as long as they remain in harmony with the community,” said Tchen. “None of the victims held harmful thoughts; these events themselves caused social disruption.”