For Whom The Bell Tolls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The snow fell heavily, blanketing the earth, covering the ugliness a windy autumn had left behind. Then I heard it - that lone ring of the church bell as it pierced through the falling snow, implanting its significance deep within my soul. It was a grim reminder that the snow, though beautiful, didn't have the power to cover every ugly blemish or cure every disease in the world.

The average rate of death for those dying of AIDS is one death every six minutes. Are you shocked? I was. Even after hearing this fact, it didn't have much of an impact on me. I hadn't realized fully the importance of such a number.

December 1st was World AIDS Awareness Day. In our parish, our Youth Ministry chose to take action to heighten awareness of the AIDS epidemic. From 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., we rung the church bell once every six minutes. Throughout the day, we had workshops on AIDS and held discussions.

I often found myself deep in thought when the bell would ring. As much as I had been expecting it, I wasn't fully prepared for the affect it would have. It was eerie to hear the bell resound so frequently and then realize that someone had just died from AIDS.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in such a powerful learning experience. Living in a rural community in Maine, people fail to realize that we are not immune to the horrible diseases afflicting our world today. It is my hope that by ringing the church bell, we have made a difference in our community by making people aware that AIDS is everywhere. It's time to face the facts and stop turning our backs on those families suffering the effects of this horrible disease. fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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