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29 October 2014

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September 11 - One year on
Post Septermber 11th: A couple embrace at the Roosevelt Memorial in Grosvenor Square, London
Post September 11th: A couple embrace at the Roosevelt Memorial in Grosvenor Square, London.

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Sheila, Netherlands: I had been out for the day on Sept. 11th 2001. When I got home I turned on the radio (BBC 5 Live) and heard ''attack on New York, Twin Towers Hit''. I couldn't quite take it in. I went to put the TV on, watching between BBC1 and CNN. I will never forget those scenes (I don t think many of us ever will). I phoned friends and family - they too were watching. It was horrific and I almost didn t believe it could be true - like watching some action movie playing out in front of you. One year on and we have been watching the documentaries about the wonderful, brave NY Fire Department - all those men who risked their lives, and many who actually lost their lives, during the mayhem that ensued. Nothing could ever have prepared the world in a time of peace for something of this nature. But now, one year on, the other comments I feel I wish to add are credit to the USA for the way it dealt with the crisis in the aftermath - and caution, for its confused and biased Middle East policy!
I do not see that attacking Iraq will endear the country to many right-minded people, and whilst the invasion of Afghanistan was called for, it is still a troubled country and many of the terrorists have fled across the borders there, never to be found. I don t know what the answer is but I don t think the whole Middle Eastern problem will disappear without many changes being made to foreign policy there.

Gemma McDonald, Houston, Texas:
On the morning of September 11. I was getting ready to go to school, when the news station broke in with breaking news. They said a plane had hit the world trade center. They were in the middle of broadcasting that story live, whenever a big fireball appeared out of the other tower. In order to see what hit the tower. They had to replay the tape in slow motion. We didn't know what had happened because we didn't see the plane, because it was so fast. Whenever I did figure out what happened I got this weird feeling across my body that I can't describe. All day all we did at school was watch TV. Then at Christmas my family and I went to New York and we went to see ground zero. Whenever you looked at Ground zero ,you wouldn't have thought that thousands of people lost there lives trying to save themselves as well as others. All it looked , was a big hole, which was under construction.

Joe Poulter, Sunderland: Yes, it was all very terrible. I was called from my study desk by a BBC producer and alerted to what was happening. After that, I watched the whole thing unfold with increasing horror. Yes, it is a tale of tragedy as well as great heroism. Yes, the thought of it stirs feelings of revenge and so on. But I have yet to hear anyone with any great power and influence speak of what those twin towers must have represented to that section of our world (two thirds I am told) who look with envy at the life style we in the West enjoy, and realise that because of the way that world trade is set up they will never be able to share in the wealth machine. While we remember those who died on this day a year ago, and honour their memory and pay tribute to the bravery of all involved in the rescues and the helping of people to come to terms with their losses, let us not forget all those who suffer each and every day from the way the affluent West controls (mainly to its own advantage) the world's trade.

Helen Turley, BBC News Interactive: I was in Greece when the terrible tragedy of September 11 occurred. I will never forget the shock at watching the events unfold in front of the TV in my hotel reception. My first thoughts were for friends who I knew were travelling to America that day, thankfully they were safe. September 11 has touched the whole world. My good friend from Newcastle lost a close friend in the tragedy. His friend was a free spirit who would go travelling at a moments notice. It was only weeks later when my friend discovered the awful truth. He had not gone on holiday, he was at work next to the World Trade Center on that terrible day. Unfortunately I don't think we will ever stop these religious fanatics destroying lives. One thing that give me hope is the picture of all the babies that have been born to the widows of victims of September 11. They will never know their fathers but it shows that there is hope and life after a disaster as incomprehensible as this.

Henry Swan, Carlisle: I was working in Carlisle with my back to the TV and all I was aware of was the OOhs and Aaahs of colleagues. I thought it was an accident! When the second plane crunched into the towers, I knew that it was malicious and thought that this was the end of civilisation as I knew it. I just didn't want to face it and worked until I was exhausted.

Michelle Nicol, BBC Tyne: For our family, September 11 began as a joyous day, as my nephew was born in the early hours of the morning - the first of a new generation.
Working in the newsroom that day,
as soon as we heard about the first plane hitting the World Trade center, every television was tuned in to the coverage. I must have seen those pictures of the burning towers thousands of times now, and they still have the power to chill.
It was the first time I wanted to turn away from a news story, not to watch any more. But at the same time I felt compelled, to be a witness to world changing events. Even now I find it hard to put into words.
Later, one of the most moving experiences for me was at the start of the Great North Run. I had been amongst the crowds at the start line taking pictures of their colourful costumes and chatting and laughing with the runners. Then everyone was asked to observe a minute's silence in memory of the victims and their families. There was not a murmur...barely a breath. It was a heartfelt tribute from people many miles away from the scene of the disaster. Then away they ran with joy and hope and that's the real tribute to everyone who has been affected by the terrible events of September 11.

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