#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

#2334 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was on the air, doing the morning shift at a radio station. One of our advertising sales people called me and told me to turn on the television in the studio. I did so, just in time to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center. I ceased regular programming immediately, and turned on our news network feed, which was providing continuous coverage. We also added local news relating to the attacks throughout the day. I got to work that morning at 5:30 a.m., and got home after 10:00 p.m. It took me a long time to get to sleep.
D. | 36 | Texas

#2326 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
this is a day we will never & should never forget if i was'nt disabled i would of inlisted in the air force too get the ones responsible the cowardly act of 9/11 we must never forget & if you are old enough you should inlist it is a privelige
matthew | 36 | Texas

#2228 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was at work, we were listening to the radio. We heard that a plane had crashed into the world trade center. Then a few minutes later they said that another plane had crashed into it. Then we heard about the Pentagon. We didn't know what the hell was going on. A person I work with looked at his pager and it had '911' on it. He commented how appropriate it was. I called my sister, woke her up and told her to turn on the tv. I was in shock, I couldn't believe that something like this could happen here in the USA. That kind of stuff doesn't happen here. It's been a year today and I still can't believe that it actually happened. All the people who died.
We will never forget.

Christie | 36 | California

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