Kristina Wesselink

Sitting in my office at 16th& I Sts., NW, 2 blocks from the White House. Our office was full of our German clients who had just closed on their first ever DC office building for $500/SF, a record. The building was on Pennsylvania Ave. They were all so happy and we were all celebrating.

One of our clients, Olaf, was on the phone with his wife in Germany and said, "turn on the TV!" As with everyone else, we thought it was some sort of horrible accident, but then we watched the 2nd plane and we knew. I will never forget that feeling. Then we thought, the third plane is headed to the White House or the Capitol and we just need to stay put, safer inside the building than on the street.

We went over to their newly purchased office building at 2000 Penn, we could see the Pentagon burning from the roof. From the roof our our own office building, where a news station was, we could see the frantic activity on top of the White House.

My mother was frantically trying to call me from the beach because all she knew is that I took the Metro from the Pentagon every morning. Cell and regular phones just were not working. She finally got through to me in tears.

I stayed in my office until the evening because our clients had nowhere else to go, most of DC had gone home. No Metro service. I left and it looked like a movie set, literally NO ONE on the streets of the CBD of DC at 6pm. My bff/roomie, came into the city to get me. We went home and were glued to the TV all night.

Our German clients were stranded in DC until air traffic resumed. It was a very long, very somber week. Their families back home were so worried. They were worried their investors would never buy in DC again (not true).

The day after...trying to find out if our Loyola and other friends who worked in WTC were ok....we found out Eric Steen had been lost in the WTC. Trying to come to grips with what happened. Seeing the hole in the side of the Pentagon driving into work. Hearing the stories of that day. Seeing the horrible photos and videos. Knowing things had changed forever.

Michelle Waites - Pippen

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I got up at my normal time and took my dog, a beautiful golden retriever named "Pippen" for our daily playtime in Central Park. We played ball for a while and when I called him to go back on the leash to go home he wouldn't come. When I walked toward him with the leash he ran away and went further into the park. 

He never did that.

I chased him around, getting more and more agitated as he made me late for work. After about 30 min he finally came back. I put him on the leash and walked back to my apartment with steam coming out of my ears.

I jumped in and out of the shower and as I was getting dressed I heard the news report on my TV that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Still rushing to get to work- and still pissed- I finished getting dressed while paying a lot of attention to the TV. The subway I usually rode to work passed right under the Towers and I wanted to know whether I needed to ride the other line that would drop me a little bit further from my office.

After a few minutes the second plane hit the other tower and I realized what was happening. I looked at Pippen and he looked back as if to say "you're welcome" (ok I'm sure I imagined how he looked back, but that's how it felt 😂).

I often think about each of the dogs I've been blessed to have in my life. But on 9/11 I always have special thoughts of Pippen. 

When 9/11 comes around all of us think about Riley and all of the wonderful dogs that were working to rescue people down at the WTC site. And of course we should. But I just wanted to let you know about another very special guy that was 100 blocks north who may also have saved a life.

RIP Pippen. And thank you 🙏🏾.



Tina Trauernicht — Schertz, Texas

The morning of 9-11 started out like many others for me, I was at work making my rounds, seeing my patients. As a nurse on a unit that is predominantly elderly I often hear things from my patients that can be a little off center of true. Sometimes their observations in unfamiliar surroundings become mingled with memories of their long ago pasts. This is what I thought was going on when I first encountered a patient talking about burning buildings and crashing planes.

When I got into my second patients room and asked how she was doing and what she was watching so intently on the TV she told me, "a plane just hit that building." I looked up over her shoulder as I listened to her breathing and kind of let it slide out of my thoughts, went on with my rounds and returned a bit later to her when she called. She said, "you know another one just hit another building"..........I thought she'd just forgotten what she already saw and was viewing it again not realizing it was the same accident.

It wasn't until I got into the next room and the family of another elderly patient looked up at me and said how awful it was that I actually snapped that this was something extraordinarily horrific and it was happening right here in our country.

From room to room that morning the TV's were on and people were talking about how horrible it was. What struck me most was a feeling of vulnerability. I told one of my co-workers, "welcome to a large part of our planets every day reality". I meant it then and still do, we have always felt so secure here in our least in the memory of my generation. The tragedies on the nightly news seeming so far removed from our safe haven.

I looked around that afternoon, listened to an elderly man who was almost blind ask "was it the Japs"? And I was struck with the realization that these patients of mine had seen so much of war and destruction in their youth. Some of them had seen WWI, WWII, The Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War.........and they still lived their lives out. The had families, had careers, saw the world change before them and now lived to see an attack on our homefront. I knew we would all go on as they had, saddened by what we would endure and strengthened by the testimonial of their ongoing lives.........if we chose to look around.

Life went on after 9-11, changed though it may be for us, it goes on just the same. I look to our elders for strength when it gets to be too much and know that we can still live our lives, maybe just not the way we thought we would.

Thanx for letting me share a little.

Tina L. Trauernicht
Schertz, Texas


I was just getting off work at Target. I was going to go home take a nap then go out for lunch. I work two jobs and I had the day off from the second job. You see it was my birthday. I stayed home and was glued to the TV all day.

What really got me was when the new people kept comparing it with Pearl Harbor. My dad was there that day in December, he was in the Navy, on board the U. S. S. OGLALA. The OGLALA was sunk. I wonder how many people whose birthday was 9-11 and had a parent who was a survivor of Pearl Harbor. I wonder what my dad would have thought. He passed away a few years back. I know what happened in Oklahoma City made him cry.

Right now the world agrees with us on what we are doing, but I think we will lose a lot if we don't finish this. We should have finished Desert Storm. The American people need to stand united whether we all agree on war or not. Sometime there is no other way out. Let the soldiers do their job and let it be our duty to stand by them as we did during W.W.II.

To all of the people of New York, this was indeed their darkest day, but their
finest hour.

Take Care
Sue (

Maggie Shortt - a police officer in the midwest

On September 11th, I was spoiling myself a little and sleeping in. I am a police officer in the Midwest and had been up rather late the night before. My husband is also a police officer. On the morning of the 11th, he was out working. The phone rang and I let the answering machine get it thinking that is was probably one of those annoying solicitors. I heard someone leave a message but didn't pay much attention to it. About 10 minutes later, one of my husband's pagers went off and I heard the dispatcher announce that all police personnel were now under high alert due to the terroist attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. I ran out to the living room and turned on the television just in time to watch a replay of the second plane as it hit the tower. I numbly pushed play on the answering machine to hear the voice of my First Sergeant telling me that my own department was under high alert, and that I was to let my commander know where I was at all times. At that time, both towers were still standing. That didn't last long and I mourned for all the people and their families.

At the time of the attacks, I knew very little about Bin Laden or Afghanistan. I could point to Afghanistan on a map and tell you that they had fought and won a war against the Soviet Union. I could tell you that I recalled Bin Laden's name being mentioned in regards to several other terrorist attacks, but I couldn't tell you exact details about the man. Now I can. I can also tell you that I want him dead. As a Christian that's probably not how I should think. However, I've felt that way since Sept. 11th so I don't suspect that I'll be changing my mind on that anytime soon. About Afghanistan, I could also tell you that I knew they primarily follow the Muslim faith. I've known for years that the Muslim and Christian faiths are not all that different. The fact that Bin Laden has attempted to make this some kind of religious war shows, in my mind, what a coward he is. There is no way he can justify what was done and what his followers continue to do. They should leave the true Muslims out of this and stop giving that religion a bad name.

I really can't say that this has changed my view of the world all that much. Part of that has to do with my own lack of education as far as current world events are concerned. In the past, I didn't pay much attention to events that occurred outside the USA unless it was a monumental event such as the dismanteling of the Berlin Wall. Another part has to do with time itself. Will our current allies remain our allies in the future concerning this and other issues? Will the Muslim nations end up hating us or will they ultimately agree that we handled this the correct way?

My view of the American people waivers from good to bad depending on the day. After the attacks, I wanted to help so badly. I think everybody did. The amount of money and supplies and workers that flowed in was inspiring. I remember escorting several members of the Chicago Fire Dept. across my state on their way to New York on the 12th. They were so full of energy and hope. At that time the whole nation prayed that there would be many survivors to pull out of the rubble. We (fire, police, rescue) knew the reality of it but hoped for the best anyway. I never saw those guys again and I can't help but wonder if they're dealing with the horror that I'm sure they must have seen. I also remember the young man who followed my escort knowing full well what was going on and taking advantage of the situation because he felt that he would be able to speed across my state if he injected himself into our caravan. I also grew very tired of the calls where people emphatically demanded that we pull certain vehicles over because the occupants "looked" arabic and acted "suspicious." However, I am proud of the fact that the nation became so patriotic. I really hope it lasts.

Maggie Shortt

Lucia - Brazil

Hi Lida

Sorry for the delay, but I thought it is a huge responsability and didn't want write something inapropriate!

On that morning of Sept 11th I was doing my bank things, when I arrived home my mom asked me to see the television, she said "Something terrible is happening on USA, take a look, Is that place you stayed last may?" I looked at the TV and couldn't believe in my eyes, I saw WTC on fire, the report was saying that it was caused by 2 airplanes that crashed on the towers, I realized imediatelly that it was not an accident. I sat on the sofa and suddenly one of the towers collapsed, I put my hands on my face in horror, I was so chocked that I couldn't move a muscle, then the second Tower collapsed too and I began to cry, it was too much, I began to think about the people inside those towers.

I went to New York 3 times, I love New York, so I had several emotions running in my heart at the moment of the tragedy. I conected to the internet and checked Missy's list, I wanted to hear my friends there in USA, want to hear their voices, and I heard them. The days after the event left me without inspiration for working, it is difficult to make jokes when you are sad, and my work is writing comic book stories for children,I mentioned it to the list and then people there suggested me to do a cartoon about the tragedy. I accepted the suggestion, they were right, I need to put out all that was inside me so I made "Starry Night" .


I consider it the best Little Xena's Strip I ever made. I received many messages because that strip, and the strip went to several places and people, even to people who didn't know Xena. I felt like I did something good, that I had given my small contribution to heal the wounds of my friends!

I never heard about Bin Laden and the attack got me completly unprepared. After those events I think I feel less secure even being here in Brazil, terrorism doesn't know bounds and could be by my side any moment. Still I also feel more conected with my american friends, I shared their sorrow and cried with them!

(Brazil, 2001)


(if you want to see more of Lucia's artwork, check out her work on Mary D's site.)

Katalin - a Hungarian living in Sweden

I am a Hungarian living in Sweden. I was living here for almost four years. It was never the less an adventure to come ere. Lets just say, I was coming to somethintg better than what I had in Hungary. I got everything I have longed for under these 4 years. I got love, learnt swedish, and a got a well-payed job. It is like a dream.

When the horrible news from NY came to us, I was at work. We sat in the lounge and watched TV. It really felt like a movie. People jumping, sceaming, planes crashing into skycrapers, skycrapers falling down, heroes and villains. It was all there, live on CNN. My first reaction was that this must be some kind of a fake news, in the spirit of Orson Welles´s Mars Attack radioplay. Took a few days until all this felt a bit more real.

But what I did not know, or expected, that this event will affect my life too. Sitting around 10000 miles from NY, it is really not likely that could happen.... or?

This attack has shaked the grounds of the security of companies. And not just the security, but also the self-security. The investers suddenly stopped investing, the companies stopped their marketing campaigns, all of them clutching desperetaly to their money.

And with this sudden "panic-attack", the almost a year-old financial lavine has won new strength and started its journey downwards the indexes. And you ask how this involves my person. It is simple. I am making advertising for a living. And since the companies does not invest because the insecure world economy. No investing in marketing, means no job for me, or my company. And with that my dream has ended abruplwith a short notice om my epmployer, that my services are not needed because work"shortage". So, here I am, no job, and insecure future. It is almost like waking up to a nightmare. But it seems such a triviality to feel sorry for myself. I instead feel sorry for the suffering woman in Afghanistan. I know it will get better for me, but how about them? Will they ever have the good living standard I have as an unemployed? Hardly. Might be their daughters? I hope.

So thats it. My english is not THAT good, so fell free to comment on the above. Regards,


Judith - midwest


I went in to work that day September 11, 2001.

We played music, we joked and chatted.

We were hundreds of miles from NYC and Pennsylvania and

Washington, D.C. The first bit of news

we heard was only that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

We knew obviously that it would be catastrophic. A building like that, a commercial airliner. In retrospect, of course we had no idea of the devastating loss of life.

Little by little we heard the news on a cheap am radio we have in the office.

When I went home for my break, I called my Mom right away.

I have no TV and live in a rural area where I receive only the poorest of radio signals.

So, I listened over the long distance phone line as the news of the second plane was just reaching the airwaves.

I thought of my friend Fran who works in the financial district. Wondering about her safety.

I went online a few hours after the planes hit the WTC and saw a real player video of the second plane crashing.

It was unbelievable, inconceivable.

I was 600 miles away but the agony of knowing the loss of life would be great was

devastating. I have been to NYC and seen the majestic WTC. 

I didn’t have any relatives involved directly,

but, nonetheless, as an American,  as a human being, I felt it,

the unfathomable loss.

I had to return to work that afternoon, bleary-eyed from crying and

in a state of shock.

I work in a small town U.S.A. Post Office.

I waited on people at the window.

I felt guilty to be functioning, ya know.

Everything just felt wrong.

That state of unknowingness was horrible.

There was a definite feeling of fearful suspense from most people who were

trying to go about their daily lives.

The foreboding sense of what will or could happen next.

I think the next day was even worse.

I felt guilty for getting out and going to work as if it were just another day.

Everything just felt so very wrong.

Since I could not conceal my heavy heart with a *just another day* facade,

many stopped for a moment and discussed the tragedy.

Each of us reaching out as best we could.

Our disbelief, our sorrow, our very real anger.

 I had one or two tell me to have a nice day.

I had to tell them I don't think so, not today.

And they would nod their head in an understanding way.

I guess all we can do is grieve for all those precious lives lost.

For all the brave rescue workers who perished.

We can grieve for the inconsolable loved ones left behind to face a world

forever changed.


Oct 24, 2001

I wrote the words above right after the attack.

Everything still feels wrong.

~ Judith

Francisca Bellard - Baton Rouge, LA

You search for the right words to say but they fail you. You try to find the reason but again you fail. Tradegy is never easy. How do you discribe something that has united a nation but caused so much pain? We all wonder, pray, and contemplate. Everyday I wake up and go to work you take pride for your country foregranted sometimes. You forget times past and history just becomes another class you have to take in school. Never do you hear them say, "History repeats itself, be wise." We are the future yet we have no knowledge of what has gotten us this far. When everyday it is taught to drive, to be better, to achieve that impossible dream; you become jaded.

So, now in the wake of the defistation we look at all who have fallen and we cry. Now we see with open eyes with renewed lose of innocence like those after Kennedy's death. The child like country takes another bullet to the heart and its soul is tested. So we rise up united, stronger, and even..vengeful. We are still judging one another out of fear and ignorance. We have become exactly as the terrorists have hoped fearful for the next situation they might throw at us. When you are an american citizen you become comfortable that you are untouchable and that we are the super power. This was a reality check for us. A wake up call that not only Bin Laden sent but the countries that support him. I have travelled the world in my work and in every country the same thing is said about americans that we are brash, backwards, and greedy. We are seen as naive because of our mentally and many have stated that they have seen this coming for years. During the trails against Oliver North , he was asked about his security system in his house that cost $15,000. When asked why he spent this much money on a security system he stated that he was scared for his life because of a terrorist whose name was Bin Laden. We knew 10 years ago about him yet now he is a house hold name in america. It reminds me of Hitler, when he was in prison he wrote a book stating how he would take over the world and he pretty much succeeded in almost every objective he had. History repeating itself.

I sit and hope for guidance through this time. And for the families of those who have lost loved ones by no means do i intend to imped my judgement on this subject only to maybe spread the word that we need to look back as young americans to strive for a better tomorrow. Pride is something just like faith that can not be seen only felt in the hearts of us all. For that we are bound together more then blood, race, dialet, sex or age.

If you have any comments to this please direct them to
Thank you and God Bless.

Francisca Bellard
Baton Rouge, LA

Don Ahlberg - Anoka, Minnesota

I don't have a lot of time right now, but briefly; I was in a feed mill in St. Marys, Ontario on the 11th I found out about the crisis when I called my secretary here in Minnesota - about 10 min. after the 1st plane hit. No one, at that point was sure about what was going on. She went to check something for me and when she called back, she reported seeing the 2nd plane hit.

A couple of things stick. The concern with getting home evolved quickly as border crossing points closed then backed up for hours. Buses and Trains were booked full almost instantaneously. I did manage to get back Friday, but only by risking getting stuck in Detroit. I made it through only because of the delay there (we were very late from London, Ont.) due to lack of available crews for the allowed flights.

A second point that struck me; The CBC radio coverage was quite complete and the Canadian Govt. of course made every offer of help etc. A huge memorial crowd assembled in the Capital on Wed (I believe, or Thursday) to show their concern for the losses in NY. As I was driving to the airport to attempt to go home, a CBC "talk show" host and his guest were discussing this and the general relationship of the US and Can. One made the point that all this outpouring of concern would go unreported in the US - ie Canada was "taken for granted". I did not search exhaustively, but my impression was that he was right as the reports of news from other countries came in over the next week.

I don't know how much I've changed. I'm always afraid that crisis will change the country. We always struggle to meet our own standards, of course, but I fear more the lowering of standards of individual rights. These kinds of things offer too attractive an opportunity for those who feel that personal freedom is an impediment to good government.

Don Ahlberg
Anoka, MN

Debbie Cooper - Arkansas

I'm a 50 year old woman who lives in Arkansas and has lived all my life there. On that particular day, my lover - who is from the Netherlands - was visiting in my home, and we were watching the morning news on television. We saw the pic of the first tower after the plane had hit it and said to each other, "What a horrible accident." About that time, we saw, live, the second plane purposely hit the second tower. We were dumbfounded and horrified, along with the rest of the world, to witness such an incomprehensible act of utter destruction. The scenes of the people fleeing from the crashing rubble... seeing people jump from those tremendously high buildings... all the rescue workers rushing in while everyone else ran for their lives... These were the impressions that still linger. In a magazine a few days later - I think it was Life or Time - there was a picture of people running as the buildings collapsed and a huge cloud of smoke and debris followed them. The lead person in that crowd happened to be of oriental heritage, and it struck me how similar the picture was to photos I had seen from the bombing of Japan during WWII and Viet Nam, the oriental people running away from that awful scene.

I learned after 9/11 how very little I knew about the world and terrorism. I think it was an eye opening event for many Americans. My Dutch lover was much more informed about the situation in the world than I was; Osama Bin Laden was a name she recognized, and she knew about Al Qaeda and terroristic events throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia that I and many others had never heard of. All I knew of the Taliban prior to 9/11 was that they took over Afghanistan and destroyed many of the Buddha statues that had stood for centuries; I was informed about this not because of the plight of the Afghanistan people, but because of the loss of the Buddhas as artifacts. I had also heard just a little about the maltreatment of women in Afghanistan, and only this because I happened to hear it mentioned on the Late Show with Jay Leno whose wife, Mavis, is active in the campaign for women's rights.

I am writing this from the Netherlands. On my jacket is a pin with a flag of the USA. At home, my car also bears a US flag. Most everyone I know is doing the same, showing patriotism, and we are calling each other more and listening better to the words and feelings expressed by those we love. Almost everyone I know has done some intensive soul searching and has experienced symptoms consistent with post traumatic stress. Almost everyone I know is suddenly very interested in world events and is hyper-aware of what is going on around them. How long will this last? Human beings are incredibly fickle, and, in a land where most everyone has everything he/she needs, it's very easy to be self centered. I know that for me and my family and friends, we are all making an effort to hold our dear relationships closer and to help other people who are not as fortunate as we are. I think it's a scandalous shame that it took something of this magnitude to shock us awake and make us actually aware of the rest of the world beyond the 3 minutes of world news highlights television offers us each day. I hope that we can bring our world politics and our sense of morality in line with each other and really take a leadership role that America should have taken long before now. Of course, that's just my opinion....

Debbie Cooper

Pearl Anderson - Washington state

September 11, 2001

I had been surfing the internet far into the night, so this particular morning, I was sleeping in. Peaceful slumber was shattered when my husband charged into the bedroom and shook me awake.

"Terrorists!!! Terrorists have blown up the World Trade Center!!!!" He was so shook up as to be almost incoherent. "You gotta see's unbelievable! It's awful!"

I fumbled my way into a bathrobe and stumbled out to the livingroom. I don't actually remember sitting down, the images were so horrific, so terrifying. It seemed impossible, what I was watching. People were leaping out windows, massive smoke columns roiled toward the sky, and then the second plane came in to hit the other tower!!!

I didn't want to see this, people were dying. It was a disaster of such huge proportions, my mind simply could not grasp it. I think it was almost two hours later I tore my eyes from the unfolding catastrophe, to get a cup of tea. I felt ill. Breakfast was not an option. The more I saw, the more my stomach seemed to ball up into a tight knot. I would walk away, trying to concentrate on something else, but could not drag my mind from what had happened, and was still happening, three thousand miles away. The distance didn't matter, it could just as well have been over the next hill. Americans were dying. Right here in America. Why?

Little by little, more information was presented, the news of another plane hitting the Pentagon, and a fourth plane down somewhere in Pennsylvania, I believe. There was great confusion as to what had happened on that fourth plane.

I stared in horror at the remains of those tall towers, listening to how many people worked there, how the terrorists had planned and executed this ghastly crime at a time calculated to kill a maximum number of civilians. Why? How could any human do such a thing? I found tears rolling down my face, confused and shattered that people could do this to other people.

The reports came in of portions of buildings collapsing, killing firemen and policemen, paramedics and rescue worker that had rushed in to help. The overwhelming tragedy of this shocked me to my foundations. Visions of survivors, coated with dirt and smoke, being helped to a safer distance, some people being carried out, shocked expressions, wide-eyed disbelief that such a thing could happen, had happened, was still happening. As fires raged, more sections of building fell. It looked like a scene that could have come straight out of hell.

There were so many emotions, so much reaction to this devastating event, I finally had to go off and be alone for a while. I simply could not take any more in. It is my fervent hope to never see such carnage again in my life.

Pearl D. Anderson


I dare not hate, for then,
a journey down a twisted path,
launched in hate, ending in death,
would be my fate.

I dare not hate,while hurting,
that poisoned way is not for me,
slaughtering innocents, no remorse,
this cannot be.

I dare not hate, but you should fear,
for retribution will find you,
no tolerance of such horror
can be allowed.

I dare not hate, even wounded,
this is no lack of purpose,
only a determination to survive,
and never be as you!

This was my final thought - after hearing all the numbers, the means, the reasons, the probable culprits. Yes, we must respond, but with reason, to assure our freedom and security, not with unthinking hate, or knee-jerk stupidity, no better than what has been done to us.

Anonymous - a friend and a writer

On the morning of September 11, my partner and I were at the emergency room waiting for a doctor to render his diagnosis concerning one of our best friends. She was in a lot of pain, and was very frightened ˆ and we both shared her anxiety.

It was too tense for me to stay in one place for long, so I took frequent breaks to get a drink of water and just walk around. During one such break, I saw a large group of people clustered around a television set. From the looks on their faces, I could tell that something terrible had happened, and I stood with them, watching in horror as the WTC burned. I quickly learned that two commercial jetliners had crashed into the buildings, and it was obvious by that time that this was a planned attack.

After just a few minutes, I went back into the examining room, where the doctor had just arrived. The news was bad - very bad - and soon the news about the terrorist attack filtered in as well. We spent the next hour checking our friend into the hospital, then got back into our car and sat in the parking lot for a long time - shaking and crying with pent-up emotion and grief.

Over the next few days, we all experienced life through a filter of personal worry and anxiety - and a deep feeling of dread and loss for the illusion of safety that we‚d all been able to maintain for all of these years.

It was a very strange experience to be so consumed by our concern for just one person - when thousands were dead, and all of us felt that we were in imminent danger of more attacks. It was far too much to process - and none of us did very well with it. I was completely numb - able to do little more than worry and cry.

After a few days of hopeful improvement, our friend died suddenly, early on the morning of September 25th. Our grief for her was so inextricably entwined with the terrorist attacks that it has been very difficult to separate our feelings about the events.

In retrospect, we‚ve both been able to gain a little perspective. Our friend will always be close to our hearts - and we've gotten over our guilt feelings for focusing so much on our sorrow for her when so many others lost much more than we did.

But whether the trauma is wide-ranging or very localized grief is grief. Every life is precious and every person deserves to be mourned by the people who love him or her. The lesson for all of us is that life is fleeting and we're not guaranteed anything more than the moment that we're in.

Love recklessly and freely. It's later than you think.


Mary D - Australia

I am writing this as I sit and watch CNN. It's been 3 days since the horror killed many hopes and dreams. My day started quite nicely with the plans of visiting Niagara Falls. Those plans were changed when I sat in front of the television watching something that could easily have been a disaster movie. Unfortunately it wasn't make believe. It was a day of horror, of barbarism at it's worst. A few days ago I went to the Holocaust Museum and I was saddened and appalled at man's brutality to man. The terror at the WTC and at the Pentagon once again reinforced how some "people" could let hate be their sole emotion and how hate destroys.

Those that perpetrated this horror are not worthy of being called human. They don't deserve to be in the same species - they don't deserve to be on the planet.

My first thoughts flew to my friends in NYC and Washington DC (like many other people's thoughts flew to family and friends). Panic set in when I wasn't able to get through because the phones were jammed. My other thoughts flew to my loved ones in Australia who were oblivious to the horrors because it was 1:00 am in the morning and they were blissfully asleep. I was torn about ringing them (especially my mum who gets up and turns on the news first thing in the morning).

As I struggled with the emotions that ranged from anger to absolute horror, I rang friends that I could contact and urged them to try and contact those I couldn't. I want to especially thank Psylocke who called me several times - she was in NYC and those calls were a godsend. She got through to people I couldn't. She tried to put my mind at ease even though she was in the place that was suffering from the horror.

I got a call from Lida in Washington DC - a friend who I met for the first time and who I spent a great time with a few days earlier. Lida was going into the Pentagon to help in the rescue effort. Lida took the time to call me and for that I will be forever grateful - it was great to hear her voice. A relief.

The sound of their voices was something that lifted my spirits - they were hurting but I knew they were safe. Some of them were going to be involved in the rescue effort and I knew these people will NEVER forget the horrors they were going to witness. I got onto the net hoping people would log on and let everyone know they were okay. I got calls from all over the place - I had left Washington DC the day before and thus most of my friends were worried about me.

I called my sister and woke her up. I told her to turn on the news and to know I was okay. I wasn't near NYC or Washington DC. Things were okay. She of course was beyond shocked. My mum would totally freak out and that is what she did when I called her. She has called me for the last 3 days reassuring herself I was okay. Her "baby" was thousands of miles away and she couldn't do a thing about it. This was her worst nightmare become reality. We had discussed things going wrong like anyone traveling to a different country.

This was everyone's nightmare. It was the worst thing imaginable and only a sub-human, or barbaric non humans could do this. Animals would never do this.

I learnt from friends back home that Australia is in mourning with our American cousins. The tv stations have reverted to CNN all day for the last 3 days. Cars are driving with their lights on during the day (this is a sign of mourning back home). Our Prime Minister was in Washington DC to address the US Congress. Books of mourning are being signed by Sydneysiders (and around the country) in their thousands. Australia and Australians are mourning with America. I've since learnt that 96 Australians are missing from the WTC and 4 have been confirmed dead.

I hope to continue to NYC, to meet with my friends, to offer whatever I can. The American people have shown me kindness, hospitality and friendship and I have fallen in love with the country.

May you all pray for those who have lost their lives, for the families left behind who will grieve at the senseless loss of their loved ones. One Bible psalm that always comforted me (and President Bush mentioned it in his address to the nation) is Psalm 23. May you all stay safe. You are not alone - the world is mourning with you.