Excepts from an essay written by Farris Hassan, 16, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who travelled to Iraq without telling his parents There is a struggle in Iraq between good and evil, between those striving for freedom and liberty and those striving for death and destruction. You are aware of the heinous acts of the terrorists: Women and children massacred, innocent aid workers decapitated, indiscriminate murder. You are also aware of the heroic aspirations of the Iraqi people: liberty, democracy, security, normality. Those terrorists are not human but pure evil. For their goals to be thwarted, decent individuals must answer justice’s call for help... So I will.

Life is not about money, fame, or power. Life is about combating the forces of evil in the world, promoting justice, helping the misfortunate, and improving the welfare of our fellow man. Progress requires that we commit ourselves to such goals.

I know I can’t do much. I know I can’t stop all the carnage and save the innocent. But I also know I can’t just sit here...

I feel guilty living in a big house, driving a nice car, and going to a great school...

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless the one who gives them.