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.