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
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.
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
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
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.
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