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Giulio in Cairo, Valeria at the Bataclan, Simone in Gaza: Our Millennial Explorers

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Giulio, Valeria, and Simone are our global heroes. They were the Millennial explorers, Italians of the new millennium. Their interests went beyond social networking, selfies and temporary jobs. They placed themselves on the front lines in conflict areas. They deeply cared about human rights issues. They mastered many languages, and were driven by a desire to discover the world, in its contradictions and its riches.

They were more progressive and socially conscious than their predecessors. They were part of a generation currently voting for politicians the age of their grandparents. Just recently, in the Iowa primaries, 84 percent of Democrats between the age of 17 and 29 voted for 74 year-old Bernie Sanders. Millennials also supported Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece, and the 66 year-old socialist Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

Giulio Regeni, who disappeared in Egypt on January 25th and was found dead on February 4, with signs of torture on his body, was the young man every parent wishes they had. He was a committed, intelligent, and talented young man, according to the reports that have emerged following his death.

Giulio, Valeria and Simone: the three victims of conflict, terrorism, and war tried to use their knowledge of languages, the Internet and technology for growth and development.

The 28-year-old student from Fruili chose to leave his small town and traveled to the Italian city Trieste and later to New Mexico, United States, and then to the UK. He studied at Oxford and Cambridge. Then he found himself in Cairo, finishing up his PhD and doing research for his thesis on trade unions and the local economy.

As you reflect on Giulio's career path, you can't help but recall another young Italian victim: Valeria Solesin, the 28 year-old doctoral student killed during the Bataclan attacks in Paris last November. She was studying demography at the Sorbonne.

We also have to remember the Roman reporter Simone Camilli, who worked with several press agencies, among them the Associated Press, and was killed in Gaza in August 2014. He died in a blast as police were defusing an unexploded missile. He was the first reporter to die in the 2014 Gaza conflict.

Giulio, Valeria and Simone: the three victims of conflict, terrorism, and war tried to use their knowledge of languages, the Internet and technology for growth and development.

Like the generations that preceded them, they were after financial stability, but they didn't chase traditional jobs to achieve it.

In 1271, when Marco Polo followed his father and uncle to China, he was 17. Magellan was sent to India at the age of 25. Columbus started sailing when he was 14. Their youthful experiences would come to change the world. Today, they would be called Millennials. Like Giulio, Valeria and Simone.

This post first appeared on HuffPost Italy. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.