#624 | Thursday, January 10th 2002
When the planes hit, I was in the library of my high school (in a suburb of Manhattan). I heard one of my teachers talking to someone about how a plane had hit one of the trade centers. At the time it was thought to be an accident, so while I was shocked I assumed no real damage had been done to the trade centers.
Later on in the day rumors started going around. We finally heard that both of the twin towers had been hit and that they were coming down. Because we were in school, information was scarse. People began to panic when the pay phones stopped working and no one could get ahold of their parents. People were saying that the White House had been blown up as well as the pentagon. We all paniced and eventually a friend of mine and I went home where we found out what had really happened-it was as bad as we had imagined.

Serendipity H. | 18 | New York

#622 | Wednesday, January 9th 2002
Living in Australia, it was already about 10pm when the planes hit. I had gone to bed early and so knew nothing until I woke up on September 12...my 18th birthday. I stayed home from classes and watched the tv all day. The actual immensity of the event only sunk in as the day went past. Needless to say it was not a great day to be celebrating a birthday.

The thing that most affected me was that this was and is not just an American tragedy. I have heard so many stories about Australians who had friends and family working in the towers. My sister teaches eleven year old children and told me about how much they cried when they heard the news. Flowers and memorials were set up outside important buildings in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and outside the American embassy in Canberra.

To all Americans...Australia does share your pain. Australians did cry with you, just as people of different nationalities all over the world did. September 11 was targeted at one city, but it undoubtedly affected the entire world.

Rachel | 18 | Australia

#599 | Wednesday, January 2nd 2002
I was doing a rather mundane task on Sept the 11th, something that I never thought that I would be able to recall 4 months later. I was studying my management text book, because exams were looming. My parents yelled for me to come into the kitchen and then i saw it, a plane hitting the wtc. From that moment on, I was glued to the television, calling and sms'ing everyone that I knew to alert them to what happened.

It was simply unbelievable. "Things like that just don't happen in my world" i thought to myself. I was in NYC in January 2001, and saw the many wonders that the city has to offer. I will return to New York in late August 2002 on a University Exchange, but I know that I will go with a heavy heart, knowing that New York and my world has been changed.

I fell asleep at around 3am (I live in Australia so it was coming towards the end of the day when America was beginning theirs) watching the news. It is a night that I will never forget. I think a day that no one will forget. I guess all I can say now is that the world makes me sad, but seeing people so together, connecting with one another, i'm reminded that every cloud has a silver lining, sometimes you just have to look a little harder.

God Bless Us All.

Trish P | 18 | Australia

#589 | Sunday, December 30th 2001
I am Australian, but on September 11 2001 I was in Italy as an exchange student. I remember I had arrived home from school and eaten lunch, and begun to watch a film on the television. Halfway through the film it was interrupted by a news broadcast with the image of the twin towers in flames. They told us that two planes had crashed into them. My first thought was, "How can two planes crash so close together at the same time?" I wondered if there had been an air display over New York and the planes had clipped each other and lost control. But this made little sense and I realised that it hadn't been an accident at all.
My inital reaction was excitement. This was something big that had never before been equalled, and I was watching it live. My host brother was supposed to be studying because he had exams but he came downstairs and watched the TV with the rest of us for about three hours. "These people want a WAR," he kept saying. In retrospect, I feel very sorry for that incredible number of people who died and for those who lost family members, and I realise how much is wrong in the world when hate can grow to such extents and when people can become so irrational as to kill in the name of religion, and I worry about the insensitivity of America that it didn't see something like this coming. On September 11, I was only excited by the thought, "What will happen next?"

Claire | 18 | Australia

#587 | Sunday, December 30th 2001
On September 11, 2001 I was sitting in my 2nd period class at North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I teacher came into our History class and told us of what had occurred. My heart leaped. Not with sorrow or pain...but with joy. Why joy? This was a very pure moment, where no one had enough information to draw conclusions or real opinions of the situation--the media hadn't leapt down anyone's throat with their propaganda. The World Trade Center had been bombed...what did that mean? That's all I remember contemplating...I didn't even link what had happened to people. I saw the World Trade Center as a beast...an icon of capitalism, and capitalism being the poison pumping through every Americans' veins. The beast had been wounded. I actually wrote this on a message board: "I for one had a huge smirk on my face when they broke the news to me(and no, I'm not happy for the loss of lives). Today, in true sincerity, was pandemonium. Whether or not it is a plot by our own government (which is soooo classical and makes excellent sense), the events that are about to unfold as a result are going to mean so much, and I'm thrilled that the ball is finally rolling. The lethargic American spirit, and its mega-arrogance is the beast personified. And I'm glad to see it got it's kick in the nuts today." Boy...was I wrong. The only thing that has occurred so far is blind new-wave nationalism. No one is questioning anything, but simply becoming more apathetic. I fear of what will become of us. I hope that people learn to open their eyes before they destroy the world around them.
Crystal | 18 | North Carolina

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