www.whyville.net Sep 11, 2011 Weekly Issue

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The two girls who follow me out of my Chemistry class stay silent. The French teacher, who was always the perkiest woman on the face of this planet, sat at her desk, still and somber. The announcements came on, but instead of 10 minutes, they lasted a mere 2. Sports teams postponed starting times for a moment of silence in remembrance. Memorials sprung up here and there, over the valley. Despite the Harvest Festival in town, and the crisp breeze in the air thanks to the fall, no one's spirits were lifted. Cheerleaders walked past, their normally bubbly attitudes nonexistent.

This has been a hard week for our Las Vegas community, but it's brought us together. The weekend will be even harder, no matter how many parties are held and how many football games our school wins.

Last Friday, a 15 year old girl named Alyssa Otremba, was brutally killed. She was walking home from a friend's house to get a Geometry book around 6 PM when a 19 year old boy by the name of Javier Righetti pulled up beside her. He merely told her, "Little girls shouldn't be walking alone." He tried to pull her into his car, but she fought back and ran. Unfortunately, her feet couldn't get her far enough fast enough, and he caught up to her. After beating her over the head, he pulled her into a desert lot, where he raped her, stabbed her 47 times, and then lit her body on fire. She went to the school that my school is rivals with. Despite our hatred for them, and their hatred for us, we had a memorial day for Alyssa. We've also come together for her.

The following weekend after this horrific crime, another tragedy struck Vegas high schools again. It was the sixth month anniversary of when Micheal Portrero, a graduate of a private school, was shot in a parking lot, just handing out fliers for a band. His younger sister, Christina, was killed this weekend. She was a junior. She was on an ATV, when the vehicle flipped and killed her. Their parents only have one child left.

Not only that, but it is the birthday of a girl, Hillary K. LaVoie, who passed away a year ago. She was a graduate from my school; Homecoming Queen, head cheerleader, and bubbly spirit all around. She was killed last year in a car accident on her way home from Reno. She wasn't wearing her seatbelt, and died. Her best friend was driving. It's affected my school and area in such a way, you would never know it. It's still hard to think of the beautiful life that was lost in vain after a year.

Not to mention the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Which, surprisingly enough, affected a large percent of our community as well.

It's hard now, and it's not going to get any better any time soon. I'm not writing this for sympathy, I'm not writing this for posts in the BBS about how sorry you are for my community. I'm writing this in honor of Alyssa, Christina, Micheal, Hilly, and all the victims and families of 9/11. Every one of these people died innocently. They had done nothing to deserve death. You never think that children our age, maybe a few years older than us, can die, but it happens everyday.

I have a new found respect for my life, and others.

I hope you do the same. It's too short, we can't focus on the past.

Author's Note: Please keep the Otremba, Portrero, and LaVoie families in your thoughts this weekend. Along with the families affected by 9/11. You may not know them, but their nightmares have just begun, and they need help. Thank you. Also, please Click-It-4-Hill.


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