#2320 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I had just begun studying at the university in my home city the prvious week, and having done my laundry, I thought I'd just relax and do my usual bit of channel surfing before hitting the books. I turned on Danish Channel 1 where the American Ambassador was being interviewed. I didn't think much of it at first, but while I was checking the TV schedule on teletext I noticed him saying something like "...this tragic event...". Then the interviewer rounded it off and I noticed the words "...terrorist attack. Maybe the worst ever." I switched to CNN to see what was left of the NY skyline engulfed in a giant plume of smoke and dust and a caption reading something like "Both towers at World Trade Center collapsed after being hit by planes." I felt sick.
My TV stayed on the rest of the day and I never got around to sstudying for the next day's classes. What angered me the most was not the attacks themselves. But watching Palestinians living in Denmark actually celebrating this was almost too much. People who had chosen to live in a Western country were celebrating an indirect attack on it. I was furious.
The next couple of days I felt very restless. I wanted so badly to help, but being halfway around the world there was of course nothing I could do. I have thought a lot about what I could and would have done if I had been there. Pictures of people standing there looking for anyone who might have news of their loved ones moved me. I hope I would have gone down there wearing a T-shirt saying "I have big shoulders. Feel free to cry on them."

Paul | 25 | Denmark

#743 | Friday, February 8th 2002
I was on a study-trip to London when it happened. We'd visited some politician, and then we split up into small groups to do whatever we wanted to do for the rest of the evening.
We were walking on Oxford Street, had just been in a H&M store, when Lasse phoned Britt, his girlfriend. He was in Hungary at the time. Britt listened to him while the rest of us chatted outside the store. I remember it vividly. In that single second, we had no concerns. There was no homework, no dangers, nothing to worry about. In that moment, we were just six girls having a good time in a foreign city.

And then Britt turned to look at us. She told us that four planes had crashed in New York, that the Twin Towers were gone and that there was still several planes missing.

She sounded...she sounded like she couldn't believe the words she said. And we just looked at her - and it was so unreal. I think that deep down we knew that it was true and that things would never be the same, but at that moment it seemed...surreal. Impossible.

We thought she was kidding. We *prayed* she was kidding. The other four went into another store while Britt and I waited outside. She tried to call her parents although the network was overloaded.

There was a TV store nearby. I walked inside, saw the screens in the far end. It seemed almost...perverse. All the wide-screen were showing movies or series, but in the corner, on two small TV...was New York.

There was snow on the screens and the colors sometimes disappeared...but I didn't notice that. I only saw NYC, covered in gray-brown smoke, and then recording after recording as the Twin Towers collapsed.

We were maybe ten people, just standing there - customers, a few from the staff - and there was silence. The silence was so loud that it was deafening. And finally, when we spoke...it felt like blasphemy to break that silence.

We headed back to our hotel via the metro. Some tried to call home, but the network was overloaded.

We got off at Bayswater like so many times before (and the first time we walked there - who would have imagined that the world would be turned upside down?) and on the way we passed another TV store.

This time, the live broadcast from New York was on the big screens in the windows. There must have been fifty-sixty people just standing there, watching - we had to walk out on the road to get past.

When we got back to our hotel, most of the others were there, too. Most called home. I figured I'd wait until the long line for the phone booth was gone.

So I went on the 'Net instead, to find out if my 'Net-friends were all okay. It was...weird. One of the e-lists I'm on - usually such a fun place - we were suddenly very serious. I checked in, read the others' notes, wrote to Rachell, my friend from Bosten, Mass.

I was just about convinced that we'd all gotten away unscratched when one of the girls on the list checked in. She said that she was okay, but that her cousin had been on flight 77 that hit Pentagon. He was...he was just a kid.

I didn't know him, but suddenly everything broke through my protective sphere. The fact that someone I'd written to, someone I'd sent feedback to, had lost someone - it made everything seem so horrible real.

I left the 'Net-lounge and headed for the breakfast room where the TV was. Usually, there would be maybe five people when there wasn't breakfast, but this time...the room was full. There were benches and chairs for seventy-five people...and they were all taken. There were people leaning against the wall, all looking at the TV.

And as we stood there, we saw the recording of the second plane as it hit - how it hits the tower, how the wings are torn off, and finally it tears through the building before it explodes. Recording after recording, until the images were burned into our minds for the rest of our lives.

Oh, God.

That night, we didn't go party. We stayed at home. Talking. Watching TV. Eating. Drinking.

I went sympathy-drinking that night. I don't usually drink, but sometimes...

I drank for the girl's cousin. I drank for my friend who'd lived in New York - had friends in NY - and now awaited word about them. I drank for the image of the planes that hit - images that are forever burned into my mind - and I drank to make it all go away.

Of course, it didn't.

But it gave me a break and a chance to get everything together again...and maybe that was what I needed.

My first reacting to it all was 'oh, my God'.

Now it's different. It still seems impossible, incomprehensible, but now...

...Now, we will not forget.

Sorceré | 18 | Denmark

#659 | Friday, January 25th 2002
I was in my classroom (denmark),

we immediately turned on the television and gazed in disbelief...

Axel | 24 | Denmark

#483 | Saturday, December 15th 2001
I am an American, native New Yorker, living in Denmark, married to a Dane. We have two toddlers, ages 3-1/2 and 16 mos.

On Sept. 11 we were on vacation on the Greek Island of Kos. Our original plan had been to visit Tunisia. We were interested in seeing Carthage and other archeological and ancient sites. However, we decided not to go after a friend who had just returned from Egypt told us that more than once she had been asked by Egyptians her opinion on the Israel/Palestian situation. She is American. She never felt threatened, but was uncomfortable with the questions. I too was uncomfortable by her experience. I know Egyptians and would not have imagined perfect strangers to ask her anything of that nature.

Thereby my husband and I decided to not visit Tunisia. We were concerned that we might be attacked on the streets because I was an American, and because anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world is at an all time high.

So, off we went to the Greek island of Kos. On Sept. 11 we were returning to our hotel when we stopped at a local bakery. The baker had a television in a room adjacent to his counter. He asked me if I were American.

He told me that a small plane had just crashed into the WTC. We watched his television. He translated the Greek words into English. But no words were really needed. The pictures of the tower burning were enough. I could not imagine that a plane had accidentally flown into the Tower. I knew that planes were not allowed into the air space around the towers. I worried that a terrorist had struck the tower.

During the 5 minute walk from the bakery back to our hotel the other plane had hit the second tower. I really started to panic for now it was certain that there had been an attack. When the pentagon was hit I became sick to my stomach and full of panic.

There seemed no doubt that a war against America had begun. That my homeland was being ripped apart. That I needed to be home too. That I was too far away to help. Although I have not lived in New York for many years, it is still home and being there seemed to be the most important thing at the time.

For the next couple of days we were glued to the television at the hotel. We managed to reach friends in New York that might have been in the towers. Everyone was fine.

My husband and I were ever so grateful that we had decided not to go to Tunisia. We contemplated how horrible it would have been for us to have been somewhere where people were expressing their happiness at what had happened.

It was really good to get home to Denmark.

Karen | 42 | Denmark

#270 | Wednesday, November 21st 2001
I remember this day better than most. I was to meet up with Finnish rock band, 22 Pistepirkko, who came to Denmark on a press promotion tour that day. I had breakfast and talked about the day's plans and what had happened since the last time we'd met.

Later, when it was time to meet the press, we were at a bar, where the owner is a friend of mine. The bar was closed to anyone but us, to allow some silence for the interviews. I was there with the other people hosting the band, the record company rep, the journalists etc. Then my cellphone rang.

It was my good friend and neighbor who called, and all he said was, that two airplanes had just hit TWC. I was as shocked as anyone, not really believing it at first.

I quickly whispered the news to the other people there, except the band members. We decided that they would be better off not knowing, at least until the interviews were over.

When they were, we told them. There was to be a promotion concert that night. We talked long about cancelling, but decided not to, which was good. The people at the concert were all sad, shocked and not really in the mood for live rock and roll. However, the music seemed to relieve us all of the thoughts and fears for a while. It had an instant therapeutic effect. Of course it didn't last long, and in the weeks that followed, the horror returned.

Rasmus Rasmussen | 24 | Denmark

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