#424 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
Stockholm, Sweden - September 11, 2001, 3:15 PM local time.

I had left work early and was almost at my house when the cell phone rang, it was my wife.
"There's an aircraft hitting the WTC in New York and rumors about another one hitting Pentagon!"
"Really? Someone has been reading Tom Clancy!" I observed half jokingly, not yet realizing the scope of the disaster.

Minutes later I stepped through the front door, dropped down in the coach in front of CNN and was engulfed with confusion. Taped images of the second aircraft slamming into the South Tower was mixed with a live feed showing the burning South Tower but the images didn't add up. Moments later I realized that the North Tower was gone! Seconds later I watch what I first believed was a taped footage of the North Tower collapsing but in fact was the South Tower going down live! On top of this we got to see live footage from a burning Pentagon and reports of a supposedly highjacked airliner going down that probably was meant for the Congress or the White House.

It was then it really struck me that the free world was at war and for the first time the USA have been suffering a devastating blow on it's mainland, only the attack on Pearl Harbor matching the disaster. We were at war but this was a new kind of war, without soldiers, where civilians are as good a target as a tank, destroyer or fighter aircraft. The impact kept me nailed in front of the TV for the rest of the day and long into the evening. When I went to bed that night, the world the sun set on was not the same world at had dawned upon earlier the same morning.

The next day the topic at work, at home, at schools, everywhere in the society was easily predicted and unfortunately so also the domestic news. So called experts sat in the studios and went along in lines of "America had this coming with it's Middle East Politics." Thus blaming America for what happened!

America was attacked because it's both a powerful country and an open society. America is the most powerful nation in the world and is ruled through Freedom, Democracy, Justice, Equality and Free Speech. Those five occurrences are the ones must feared but dictatorships that suppress its people. Ghandi once said, "what is obtained by violence can only been kept by violence." The consequences of this is that the rulers of those countries will lose their powers once the violence stops and that is what they fear most of all, even more than an outright war against the most powerful nation in the world.

The US had to both tighten its internal security and strike back at the terrorist organization and the regime that supported it. Most of the free world stood behind America in this. Now, three months later, it seems that the military operation in Afghanistan is a success, mostly because the people of Afghanistan is free again, free to elect how and by whom they will be ruled, free to shave, show their faces, speak up, watch CNN…

What would the Talibans have felt if they had the opportunity to see the heroes of the policemen and firefighters rescuing thousands of people, helping them out of the burning buildings only to be killed minutes later when the towers collapsed? Wouldn't it have told them something about the people they had just attacked? That the American people are worthy as your friend and fearsome as your enemy, that what they just did was both unjust and foolish? We will never know but in closed society, they couldn't know! The only thing they knew, was what their Mulla told them. It has nothing to do with Religion or Islam, only the way the country is ruled.

The war continues and it will be fought not just with guns but also with education, international aid, medicine, food, shelters, rebuilding projects, etc. The money we so willingly spend on military operations must also be spent on building up the life for the people who have lived and suffered under the dictatorship of unjust rulers. There's no "us" and no "them", people are the same all over the world, what makes us different are the conditions under which we live. Change them and the community of the free world will continue to grow, hopefully it will one day include the entire world.

Only then will we see true, worldwide peace.

Christer Sjöholm
Stockholm, Sweden
December 10, 2001
Christer Sjöholm | 40 | Sweden

#425 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
I was working from home on 9/11. I had just gotten my wife & kids out the door and had jumped in the shower. I got out and was drying off and glancing at the tv when I saw them broadcast the 2nd plane hitting. I pretty much spent the rest of the day glued to the tv.
Andrew Hargreave | 36 | Illinois

#426 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
I was off work that day for my mother-in-laws funeral. My husband came outside on the deck and said a plane had crashed into the WTC. I'm from New Jersey so I ran in to see what was up and it was being reported as an "accident". Then all hell broke loose; the second plane hit and we knew immediately that this was no "accident". We spent the entire morning in tears, glued to the set watching as events unfolded and the towers collapsed. God....what an awful day September 11, 2001 was. May all the victims rest in peace.
Charlotte | 45 | Texas

#427 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
I was at work. I remember all 50 of us sitting there gasping and crying while watching the breaking news on a TV in our Conference room. Working just a few miles out of Ft. Bragg, NC most of our families were military and the threat of terrorist attacks were very real in such close proximity of the Army base. At noon, our director stood with us. We joined hands and prayed for our nation, for the victims and for ourselves. We then left early and closed the offices to go home and be with our families.
Rebecca Gonzalez | 24 | North Carolina

#428 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
I was at work in Harrisburg, PA on the morning of September 11, 2001. Around 9:50 or so a co-worker stopped by my office to say that a plane flew into the World Trade Center. We immediately thought it was just an accident. Only a few minutes later, he came back and said that a second plane had flown into the Trade Center. Right away, the accident idea was dismissed. I flipped on the radio to try to learn more. The newscasters only had sketchy information. I kept listening and visited a few Internet news sites trying to learn more when another co-worker told me they had cable TV hooked up on one of the conference rooms. I went up to watch what was going on. About a dozen co-workers and I were watching CNN, we couldn't believe what was happening. We saw the first Trade Center building collapse, and we all gasped. I said alound, astounded, "Do you know how many people just died?". We were glued to the TV, and what seemed to be only a few minutes later the second building collapsed just like the first. We also heard of the Pentagon being hit, and of a 4th plane going down in western PA. For about an hour and a half we just watched the news... we couldn't tear ourselves away. More people kept piling into the conference room. Finally, the Executive Director stopped in and said the office was closing for the remainder of the day. We all went home. I spent the rest of the afternoon in front of the TV watching CNN, wondering whether any more planes were going to target America. What was happening was just unbelievable.

--Doug Good
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Doug Good | 30 | Pennsylvania

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