#328 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
The first I had heard of the tragedy was in my 8am Econometrics lecture at the University of Sydney, Australia: our lecturer had a minute of silence to pay respect for the fallen. Amazingly I did not hear of the attacks in the 1 hour train and bus trip to uni.
Waterlily | 18 | Australia

#308 | Wednesday, December 5th 2001
Never the Same:

On Tuesday September 11, 2001 at 9:05am the excitement of seeing my parents was transformed as feelings of shock, confusion, anger, fear, sorrow, and astonishment, and distress instantaneously consumed my mind. A college freshman, sitting in the backseat of a beige van, I watched intently as my dad solemnly approached with an expression of horror masking his previous carefree attitude. He opened the door and silently turned on the radio, at that moment, it felt as if the blaring panic had paralyzed humanity. I listened to the multitude of shocked voices on the radio for the remainder of the drive home. That moment is permanently embedded in my mind. Thoughts of uncertainty about the condition of my friends and family raced through my head. My peaceful and perfect little world was permanently jarred. This cruel unjustifiable atrocity affected every American, for an instant, we were identical, each of us felt helpless and vulnerable because we had no control over the earth-shattering event that just occurred. When I returned to the dorm I turned the television on and watched the surreal scene of a cruel maniac crashing a commercial airliner filled with mothers, fathers, siblings, children, and beloved friends into America’s symbol of freedom and power. This horrifically vivid scene will replay in my mind for the remainder of my lifetime.

Sheena | 18 | West Virginia

#305 | Friday, November 30th 2001
At the precise time it happened, it was mid-afternoon, and I think I was in a jeweller’s in my home town of Blairgowrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland, picking up my watch with its new battery. I walked back to Tesco's car park where my mother was waiting, and she began signalling furiously to me as I approached the car. She told me that there had been a terrible accident, that an aeroplane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre. I was immediately shocked, having visited New York City and been to the top of one of the towers on a final-year school trip, not six months beforehand. As we listened, confused messages came through about another plane having crashed, an idea that seemed ridiculous (since we automatically assumed that it could only have been an accident). We hurried home to put on both the radio and the television, hearing George W. Bush's first statement live, and it soon became apparent that, yes, both towers had been struck, and neither was an accident.

At home we quickly put on the television and the radio, and I watched the scenes unfold. All channels, if my memory serves me correctly, had cancelled their normal programming by then. I sat aghast, and began to succumb to fits of sobbing as the full enormity of what had happened hit me, along with the added incredulity of having been there myself so recently. I watched as news came through of more planes hijacked, of smoke drifting over Washington, of rumours then confirmations of an attack upon the Pentagon, of a plane crash in Pennsylvania, and, finally, of the collapse of first one, then the other great tower.

Finally I was able to bring myself to go into my room and send emails out to the mainly American mailing lists to which I belong, realising that I had friends who were to be in New York at the time, but not finding out until later in the evening that they were okay.

I shall conclude by quoting my diary entry for that evening; the references towards the end are to my best American friend, and then to the degree course in International Relations that I have since started at St. Andrews University, Fife, Scotland.

"I don't know how to begin. This is the worst day in my entire life. Thousands are dead, hundreds of thousands are injured, countless lives are destroyed, the world's economy is in a state of collapse, the US government is in turmoil, one of the largest and most magnificent buildings in the world has been razed to the ground, the Pentagon has partially collapsed. Nobody knows who is responsible, why they did it, or what this means for the world. Thankfully, Jessica is okay and all the other listers seem to be okay, though some have relatives who may yet be dead. And in exactly one week, I'm going off to be trained to do something about it. If only I can. I'm shellshocked. This is too awful for words. Those poor people."

David M. Bean | 18 | United Kingdom

#285 | Sunday, November 25th 2001
I was getting ready for work, running extremely late as usual. Went into the kitchen to get a drink and a bite to eat, and looked at the TV which the news was playing on. While I'm half asleep I see a tall building burning. Hmm..must've been an electrical fire I thought. It wasn't until I got to work and customers kept coming up to me and telling me what had happened. I went home on my lunch and sat glued to the tv, where I was bound to stay for the next month.
Kari | 18 | Florida

#269 | Wednesday, November 21st 2001
It was around 11pm South Australian Time and I'd just turned on the TV to see the first tower on fire. Then as I continued to watch I saw a second place go right into the second tower. Right away, I knew that it a terrorist attack. I continued to watch and then came reports that the pentagon had been hit, another plane had crashed in pennsilvanyia and that they suspected another plane was heading for the white house or air force one. I continued to watch into the early hours of the morning and into the next day. All I can say is that I was extreamely shell shocked at what played out before my eyes on TV!
Trent Slade | 18 | Australia

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