#450 | Monday, December 10th 2001
September 11th was a tragic day for the U.S. and for the world. We are still feeling its after-effects even in Canada. It has changed the way we, on our "island" (North America), view our freedom and our security. We are no longer immune to the threats of terrorism. Perhaps we are a bit smarter and a bit less naive, but the innocence has been lost, which is the truly sad consequence to these attacks.

The atmosphere at work the day of the attacks was very glum. We tuned in to the TV in the boardroom and watched as we tried to comprehend what had been done, who had done it, and why someone would want to do such a terrible thing.

The true test will not be our initial reaction, but how we handle things now and into the future. Will we succumb to the hatred, or will we try to understand the reasons someone could do this and, perhaps, grow in our understanding of ourselves and of humanity.

Jason Hastie | 27 | Canada

#402 | Sunday, December 9th 2001
I recognise that this site is meant for Americans, but since the incident is something that has changed the world in so many ways, I feel my thoughts here would not be out of place.

A journalist at the time of writing, I work as a sub-editor with a national Indian financial daily. I was at work on that day, and when it happened, it was around 7.30-45 in the evening when we heard the news.

All of us were crowded into our Deputy Editor's cabin watching CNN. The initial reaction was disbelief and shock, naturally. But then, as the enormity of the event sunk in, people started commenting on it.

Some commended the masterminds behind the attack for their guts, one guy even said this was how one took on a bully, some even cracked jokes, but every single person was devastated at the destruction of, not just property or human life, but of...how do I explain it, the idea of Big. Big USA, Big City New York, big business, big-time money, bigwigs controlling the world's financial movements...everything about America that symbolises Big to me and people in my country. All that had crumbled before our eyes.

America suddenly seemed so vulnerable on home territory, which has never been the case, not the invincible power we always thought it was.

Here were a bunch of terrorists who had succeeded in stopping the mightiest nation in the world in its tracks, without any hi-tech weapons. That's how we all saw it.

Ironically, just a few hours before, I was chatting with a reporter colleague whose wife had returned from a New York trip the week before. He has been to New York and was talking about what a great city it was. This is what he said, or words to the effect: "I was really surprised when my wife said she didn't find New York all that impressive. Man, I was damn impressed when I first visited it. It's a terrific city. You can't be unimpressed by it."

What a pity the idea of New York and Big is rubble today.

C Ramesh | 27 | India

#296 | Tuesday, November 27th 2001
On that horrible morning I was at work. Things were really busy and lots going on. Over the cubicle wall I could here people talking about this plane crash, I was like..."yeah whatever".

I then received a call from my husband, informing me of the same. He gave me the details that he had at the time and I ran into the company's gym to watch the T.V.

I heard it, I saw it, I cried!!

I thought of all the people, so many lives gone, affected, hurt, torn. It was very overwhelming. I tried not to cry, being at work, but as I looked around I saw that I was not alone.

I then thought of my brother-in-law's girlfriend who lives in NY and called her right away. She was safe.

I then thought of all the people that I know who are in NYC often on business with PrePaid Legal Services and my heart sank. So many who fly, so many...

I was relieved to hear by the end of the day that from what I could tell, all were safe.

Such acts.....such destruction...

I was filled with so much anger, so much hate...pure evil orchestrated this, there's no other explanation.

I will never forget September 11, 2001 for as long as I live.

For those that were lost and for those who helped in any way they could.

God Bless America has a new meaning for me. It's something I hold near and dear to my heart, now more than ever.

Robyn | 27 | Canada

#266 | Wednesday, November 21st 2001
I woke up the morning of the 11th and went to my bathroom for my morning whiz and to get my daily dose of the king of all media. When I heard howard discussing the attack, I thought it was some zany "war of the worlds" takeoff. A quick check on the television verified that there was nothing zany about what was happening.

Annee and I sat silently on the bed watching as the destruction of the second tower unfolded. Working was the last thing I felt like doing but, nonetheless, I went to the office.

I listened to talk radio from the moment I got in the car until two weeks later after I could take no more of the countless permutations of the words "America, attacks, under, terror, war" that branded this flavor of media. R.I.P our lost brothers and sisters.

Mike Ingala | 27 | Oregon

#265 | Wednesday, November 21st 2001
Where was I? En route to work. I live in Washington County, but my job was in the Wine Country. Which explains what I was even doing awake at 6am.

I was in a coffeehouse waiting to start the final segment of my commute, when a customer came in and said, "so, what do you think about that plane crash into the World Trade Center."

Like fifty million other people at that moment, the response was, "oh, it was jsut a King Air or some other commuter plane."

"No, it was a 737." Before I'd left, the size of the plane... and then planes... kept on getting bigger, and bigger.

It was Peter Jennings' voice on the radio, saying, "The south tower has just collapsed." Before I'd gotten to work WTC1 had also collapsed.

Even now, that memory sucks all of the substance from my innards.

Disbelief. I know, but my present train of thought is something I usually reserve for the final act of a work of Shakespeare.

What of the times since? Let me ramble...

I avoid downtown, but not consciously. I wonder what to think of the city where I was born. It's always been unique; now its distinction is even greater.

We discover that the people who did this were fighting the immorality they saw, never taking the time to ask if the people they were attacking might actually agree with their anger... if not their methods.

One of the columns in today's Oregonian was about one of the children who was aboard the plane that was crashed into the Pentagon, and what a basketball fan he was, how after all he never got his wish to see MJ play in real time.

That broke my heart.

As I started writing this one of my MP3's was on, a dance song with Russian lyrics that versifies love lost, a track I downloaded at work before the 11th. It's something both light and serious at the same time.

Now it goes a long way toward reminding me of the times we've left behind.

Ben Henick | 27 | Oregon

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