#2484 | Friday, September 13th 2002
Hi, im from australia so i dont know if this matters or not.........but september 11th 2001 will be a day of unforgettable memories of feeling helpless, devastated and very scared....

I was online playin backgammon.....saw a newsflash on tv and reported in the lobby when the first plane struck.... believing it was an accident at first to then seeing the second plane hit the towers....... The whole lobby was querying my statements then once they switched on the tv also confirmed........ Once that second plane had struck it there was a mass of fear........ i was playing with people from that area..... one girl in particular thought that her partner was somewhere there..... and for the next 2 hours we were with her supporting her......as she was unable to get through to him..... i was up that nite until 4.30 am...... i felt compelled to stick with my friends there....to offer support...... the one thing that has never left my mind is how real and how scared i was....... that fear lives with me still...... Fear that some one like myself could fall victim again to such horrific actions....

Although im not religious much...it is this situation that opens up my soul and prays that this will never happen again....... that as a human race we can focus upon resolve to the ongoing conflict of greed, belief, colour and race......that we can someday we can unite for a common aim... Peace and harmony.......

To the people of the United States, although i dont agree totally with your policies and your way of life.... i do believe that the callous attack on September 11th on the people of your country was shattering and totally unfair... My heart goes out to all the ffamilies of those who lost loved ones..


with love from australia xxx

Paula Henley
Melbourne Australia

Paula | 32 | Australia

#2478 | Friday, September 13th 2002
I was out of bed at 6am on September11. I came downstairs and turned on the TV and thought I was watching some ending to a movie that was on. I received a phone call from my brother who told me to turn the TV on .....the WTC had been wiped out. I told him I was watching the TV and said that it wasnt possible. I sat there and watched and I couldnt comprehend what was going on. Who did this??? What were they thinking? i stayed glued to the Tv for a week and hung onto every little update. I just couldnt understand why this happened. So many lives lost. So many left behind to pick up the pieces. I was devastated. All I wanted to do was help in anyway I could. I was in Australia and I felt powerless. It really shook the world and 12 months on, I am still moved to tears watching the tributes and memorials going on around the world. I am still trying to comprehend how someone could carry out such a horrendous crime. You must stand proud America and just remember...LOVE CONQUERS ALL. You are strong and you will get through it.
Kathryn | 36 | Australia

#2404 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
These are emails I wrote afterwards, partly to reassure friends and family, partly to help me deal with it all.
I was on Madison Avenue, watching it all happen out of my office window on the 39th floor in total horror.
I left NY on Sept 30, 2001, having already planned to return home to Sydney. But I was torn between wanting to leave a city that had irrevocably changed in a heartbeat and wanting to stay, to stand defiant with my fellow New Yorkers.
I've been back home just under a year now and I still miss the buzz of New York, the vibrancy and the pace - it's just as much home as Sydney is. There's been plenty of TV coverage here but I've been unable to watch any of it, probably like many who were there. I can still see it when I close my eyes, I still smell the smoke and see the ash and dust on my clothes. I can never forget seeing the rescue workers emerging from buses around 18th St and Second Avenue, after spending hours searching through the wreckage, exhaustion and intense sadness etched upon faces showing tracks of tears through the grey dust. Seeing the thousands of posters around the Armory on Second Avenue, the sidewalk crowded with flowers, candles and desperate hopes of reunions still tears at my heart. The silence of the fire houses where entire watches were lost makes me feel very humble as I remember the bravery of those who gave their all to help others.
On the anniversary yesterday, I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, along with 2 other NYers. I'd smuggled a small American flag under my jumpsuit (you can't take anything up there for safety reasons) and we held a minute's silence at the top. The Australian flag fluttered above us at half staff, the police boats buzzed around the OPera House far below. We said a silent prayer for those we'd lost. And we thanked God for our freedom and our will to stand defiant, to not succumb to the fear.
Sept 12, 2001
Dear all,
thanks for the messages yesterday, it was good for me to be able to focus on something other than what I could see out the window.
I'm OK, altho things are starting to sink in a bit now. After being the calm one yesterday & making sure everyone else was OK, reality has begun to hit home once I'd got them all out. I walked across town & back again last night in an attempt to give blood
(only to find they were closed) & saw the streets almost deserted, a huge mountain of dust & smoke where I used to see the towers.
People here are in a confused & disbelieving daze, unable to comprehend the situation fully. They stop on street corners, huddled silently together, staring downtown, as if waiting for the rewind button to put
it all back to normal. All this time, Americans seem to have believed themselves to be indestructible. While that is not a sensible thing to think, to have it confirmed like this is beyond explanation.
I'm lucky to have experienced many happy times here, I have plenty of wonderful memories of the city & of the
WTC itself. But now my memories will be forever tempered by yesterday's events. The sight of the second plane crashing into the tower in front of me is something I'll never forget. At least I know I'll recover from the trauma; with the inexperience
Americans have with terrorism on their doorstep, I'm not sure they'll be able to get over it.
My heart is numb, my brain is in shock, but my instincts for getting on with things are prevailing. I still have a couple of people I'm trying to track down, but so far all my friends are OK. I'm hoping that the rest of them are just incommunicado due to the phones being jammed. Maybe its just as well I'm leaving soon, I don't think
I could stand the mood of NY as it is now.
Love to all,
Charli XXX
Sept 14, 2001
Dear Jo,
we're getting on with things here. Its pouring with rain, which makes it tough for the rescuers at ground zero, but they're keeping at it. Life must go on, or we'll all lose our minds & those bastards will win.
Bush is in town today, going to a service at St Patrick's. Normally, security makes it hard to get around, so now it'll be ten times worse.
We've had several bomb scares, Grand Central being evacuated, but no real bombs. Its getting to be like London, except the Americans are more terrified, not being used to it like we are.
Still can't bear to look downtown. Not sure if I'll go there before I leave. Probably not.
Don't worry, I'm fine. Getting back on track. Writing about it helped me get through it, now I can focus on reality again. Wish I could say the same for
some of the people here at the office - they're still shell shocked.
Love to everyone, tell Keith to get his thumb out of his arse. People died here. I watched a passenger plane crash into a crowded building. The world has changed, even if he can't be bothered to see it.
Love & hugs, Charli

Charlotte | 36 | Australia

#2053 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
Would've been September 10, Monash university had had a clubs day and I'd got a small clear rubber ball with a picture of the world in it from the uni's travel agency. It would've been about 5am September 11 in New York when I had figured out that by squeezing the ball I could make bits of the image of the world go transparent as the paper image lost and regained contact with the clear plastic surface.

Being Australian as I am, the attack happened for me in the small hours of September 11/12. I'd been up fairly late, had been to university that day and on the computer at home. I was just climbing the stairs to go to bed, and I was on the second or third stair. The TV was on. And someone called me back down.

For the next couple of hours the whole family watched absolutely aghast.

I went to bed and turned on the TV in my room. The rest of the night, I sat and made notes about my perspective. The planes. The towers falling down. The Pentagon. The Australian Prime Minister touring Washington being frantically rushed to the basement of the Australian Embassy. Bill Clinton in Queensland. The lockdown of US airspace. What streets in NY were blocked.

There's nothing else to say. No words convey what happened. Everyone here will try and fail. There's no words to express what we felt on 11/9 (you Americans always did write the date weird) and since.

The following day, I talked to my American internet friends, then looked up a 1973 encyclopedia to find the words to all the verses of the Star Spangled Banner. (For background, most Australians can't remember _our own_ national anthem let alone yours.)

I sang them quietly, in a room, myself.

I hope I helped.

Matt | 21 | Australia

#2009 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I am from Australia so I didn't find out about the attacks until the next morning. I then went to school and everyone was talking about it. One of my classmates had a radio and heaps of kids were listening. After school I went home and spent the entire afternoon watching the TV, and seeing footage and interviews and stuff.
Katie | 16 | Australia

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