I remember the moment the twin towers were attacked in America, And i get a knot in my stomach, I had not so long had my third child and i was sat in the living room changing her nappy, I had Sky news on it was the normal thing in my house especially when my hubby is home, Well i had the news on in the background while i was changing her when the first report came in.
I was still changing her when hubby ran in from sterilising her bottles and turned the telly up, he was stood in front of the telly saying "oh my god, oh my god" , I placed my daughter in to her bouncer and asked him what the issue was and he was saying "Have you seen this , have you ?"
"No as you are stood in front of the TV" I remarked , he makes a good door but not a great window!!
He moved as they replayed the first plane crashing in to the towers, I had been frightened and was actually thinking the same as most at that time that is was a awful accident that a plane had some how gone out of control , then the report came in that another plane was approaching we sat and watched with our mouth gaped open trying to grasp what was going on.
As the reporter an the camera panned and followed the second plane, as it approached the Towers, and crashed in to it, things did not make sense, questions were flying round my head as they said it could be a terrorism attack.
I looked at my daughters and was crying at this time , I did not know anyone that was involved but i felt for them them, i felt their pain, even my hubby shed a tear or two, But looking at my daughters as the report came in again that an attack on the pentagon had also happened my thoughts were that world war three was happening , this attack was not just effecting those in America but those world wide.
Since the attack I think i have gone in to overdrive, As i write this i do not want people to think i am racist, as that is something I am NOT.
When shopping if i see one of these ladies that wear the burkhas that cover the face fear sets in and i have to vacate the shop, It sounds awful but I can not see their face i do not know if they are female of male i do not know if they are concealing a bomb in there free flowing clothes.
These fears have been installed in me thanks to the media, I avoid going to places that i consider to be a target. I live in the centre of Blackpool and have avoided going to the tower, basically because I'm in overdrive thinking how the Taliban would be thinking.
To me the tower in Blackpool is a target, it is well known a great place for lots of casualties if they were to attack, We have had them planes that you tend to hear before you see fly over head and i automatically run to the window to see if it is heading towards the tower, This is an awful way to live, I know , Which i blame on the media that reports suicide bombers and threats etc.
When you are a parent you tend to worry more about your children and I feel I have installed my fear in to them , which i think is unfair as they too know the drill when they see someone in a burkha, I know it is a religion and i applaud people that make the effort to follow their good but in a way i think you can still follow their god without being in disguise.
A few years back it was banned that people had to remove their hoods when entering a shop, which i think is a great thing it put people at ease, As i said previously people in burkhas scare me because of the fear installed in me so therefore why can it not be a thing in this country that they do the same and remove them.
As I said i do not want to appear to be racist , because i do have a few Asian friends, and they have informed me that it does not state in the Koran that they have to cover their faces
If i was to visit there birthplace and visit their mosques etc i would adhere to their laws and remove my shoes , this i do out of respect , and it all stems to the old saying when inRome do as the romans do, I just think this could be applied here.
The Taliban has installed fear just not in me but in the world, Having seen the damage they can do and the carnage they can cause has stopped me from flying I will never leave my homeland again , the thought of stepping on a plane would now give me a panic attack.
I will never visit of London , the capital , as to me that is a target , they have done carnage there, and even though they did not succeed in doing as much as they wanted to but to me i am thinking that they are thinking that it is "unfinished business" and that they will come back.
My fear is out of control where the Taliban are concerned....Take this incident for example,.
I recently went to visit my mother a few weeks back, by train , as i boarded the train it was empty and i took my seat , got out my Mp3 and started to listen to my music , as we left Blackpool train station i was calm , and ready for the hour journey, we passed through other train stations and the carriage i was in had started to gain other passengers, When we got to Blackburn, an Asian man got on with a scarf on that covered his face , all i could see was his eyes , he had a backpack strapped to his back.
Then the fear set in , i had images of him being a suicide bomber, i know it is crazy , i did not know this man , and granted Blackburn has a large Asian community so having an Asian on the train might seem natural, to me i was in panic mode , i had visions of all sorts , the carriage being blown up me dying and being blown to bits, and not being identified.
The fear had taken hold and i got up and left the train, silly i know but i can not control my fear,
the Asian boarding the train for all i know had the scarf covering his face because he was cold, his backpack may of just contained his clothes as he was probably going to visit family or friends. I can see how this all seems racist but again i stress i am not, it is the fear that i have it controls me.
I blame the media for giving me this panic this fear, these feelings, I have tried to control it but i do not win , the fear take hold , i guess it is like having a fear of spiders or mice, If you have a fear of something you may be able to understand ,However if you don't then there is no way you could understand and will probably rate me as being very dramatic or racist.
I do wish is could get over this but until the media stop dramatising everything i do not think i will, and will probably need some sort of hypnosis to gain a bit of relief and trust.
But until then i am on red alert and examine everything and everyone. My daughter recently came in and asked to go to the cinema with a friend and i started to panic, all the what ifs flowing through my head, like i said i do try to control it , so i allowed her to go , even though fear had set in and when she left to go i went in to overdrive again,
The fear is in control and has a hold on me i have already been asked if i am agoraphobic by a member of my family , i am not i just prefer to be at home where the fear can not take over, if i am at home I'm safe i do not examine every detail i know what is what, Basically i am in control at home it is just in crowded areas that i feel unsafe,
I just hope people do not deem me as racist, after reading this , i am just being controlled by a fear a can not control and i do hope i have not offended anyone.
The Taliban will continue to cause carnage and the media will add fear in to other people,
And to be honest we will never be at peace until they get what they want.
We as a nation need to stand up to them and show them we are not vunerable and will not tolerate the threats. I just hope one day i can get over my fear and stand tall with no fear.
"America did not change on 911; it just became more itself"
Is the War on Terror over we ask? With yet another timely retrial of the three Muslim lads over the airline plot, cynically announced on September 11, that CPS gesture almost seems desperate from the PM that terror has dried up to such an extent that there's no new fear headlines to be had anymore to bury bad news at this evocative time of year. Now we are pulling out of Iraq the threat has dried up and even the control order nonsense is collapsing as the law sees no reason why people should be held here without trial over a War on Terror that erroneous at best. Poor old Swine Flu is on his own this winter to bare the brunt of fear. Even Obama has tired of throwing money at the invisible threat, dumping the planned missile defence system based in Eastern Europe and pulling the troops out of Iraq. The missile system would have never worked but kept people in jobs in American states where the Republicans needed the votes and the Democrats wanted to pick up by calming this chaos.
Along with actor Charlie Sheen and that French bird that played that warbling French singer from the 60s, and most of the internet, I personally don't believe 911 was a completely capricious event and America were caught completely off guard. Contra to popular opinion by the dooyoo guides I'm not a dizzy conspiracy theorists in any way and always weigh up the evidence before making outrageous statements. I believe Bush new an airborne attack was coming and decided his country needed that punch in the face to initiate his War on Terror to kick start the US economy. Unfortunately he wasn't expecting such a haymaker. He didn't know of any solid attacks planned or indeed plan one (nobody can keep a secret) but he stood down the military and intelligence services enough to invite one in my opinion. He and his oil cronies wanted to be the ones to get the Iraq crude flowing and Caspian Sea natural gas hissing up and around Russia to supply America's greedy energy consumption, still 40% of the world's gasoline and 25% of the pollution. To me Americas "shock n awe" bombing of Baghdad was just as evil as '911' and he is well capable of doing a 'shock n awe on his own people to achieve his objective.
Libya was the big issue of the last month, a convicted terrorist released to die in Libya under a tenuous reciprocal prisoner release scheme signed with Gadhafi by Blair. At that meeting in the desert Jack Straw apparently signed another form that this prisoner release scheme would only include Libyans held in the U.K. This, of course, meant the killers of the young London PC Yvonne Fletcher would not be coming the other way. Gadhaffi in return got to sign huge oil deals with BP and Magrahi was released from Scottish justice under this Compassion thing. The New Labour spin machine then decided to give young Michael Shields from Liverpool, who was stitched up for the murder of a Bulgarian waiter, a pardon, the counter-spin good prison release story meaning we are no longer talking about Libya. Clever really.
Again I don't think Magrahi did it. When oil deals are at stake any shenanigans can go on. On Sunday the Telegraph reported that British SAS soldiers are already on the ground in Libya training their next generation of Special Forces under this new detente with Libya. I recall America doing that in Afghanistan in the 1980s. It gets worse; Policeman from Northern Irleand are also there training, training the people who supplied the IRA with 90% of their Semtex. They will show the Libyans how to 'deal' with man made bombs, the so called 'IEDS', ripping apart British troops.
I have never been convinced about the airline plot in the U.K. either. To me it was angry young Asian lads playing Cowboys & Indians, experimenting with all sorts for something to do. Yes they made martyrdom videos and some little silly bombs but they would never have been able to carry this out, however long the intelligence services seem to be giving them to do just that. The defence said the lad's device would never work and the guys had no means to carry it out. I think the group was set up and infiltrated surreptitiously by MI5 to make sure the guys were organised enough and could come up with a credible plot to be tried in court to help Blair justify his invasions of Iraq etc. We know the security services were taping and recording everything for 6 months and for some reason didn't close it down earlier. With just three convictions and no credible bomb or plan its unsure how three dimbos from Leeds could bring down 8 airliners.
This fantasist behaviour interpreted as a threat buy the state was repeated again with the silly court case against the two Manchester schoolboys. These kids were clearly aping movies with their childish plots and the people who put 21 Asian lads in court and got just three prosecutions are on the same fear trip. If you pump the fear people, on mass, will do what you want them to. The schoolboys real dream is to be in the army, which did make me chuckle. Lads like this will be ideal in Afghanistan so why the hell are we trying to lock them up!
Blair's demonization of Islam has thankfully not been embraced by Brown, trying to distance himself from all that went before. When you look at Afghanistan you can see nothings changed. Training Afghan soldiers to shoot their own people is not the best plan. The Taliban are their own people. In recession there's a huge pool of British working class lads that are willing to do that though. The bizarre idea that if we leave it, it will become a base for Al-Quida to attack Britain makes you smile. If you are a terrorist you only need jump on the back of a lorry in France and smuggle yourself into Britain from Calais to plan your attacks it's that easy and our borders that insecure.
Only this week we learnt that the Attorney General, the person responsible for signing off on all laws in the U.K., was employing an illegal immigrant. Baroness Scotland was the lady in question, who signed off on the law that employers MUST make the appropriate checks on employees to make sure they are not illegal or be liable for a two year prison sentence! If anyone has to face court its Baroness Scotland. She of all people should no the rules and check the documents. If she has no security then what about our airports and railways ability to not employ security risks? If the system doesn't work then why did she push it through the Lords? Bang to rights! Security my ass! This country is as vulnerable and porous to terrorism as Afghanistan. The reason is that the terror threat is already here and home grown, purely young Muslim lads reacting to our invasions of foreign lands that are soaked in oil and our new dictators and that their only motivation to show this rebellion. Its time to integrate with British Muslims and not push them away.
Mohammed Karzai, the current president, is our man. The ex Unocal oil baron is the west's man and we put him in charge there, but he can't even fiddle the election properly to keep him there in a country 75% of the population can't even write! The west election monitors have said the vote was corrupt and are trying to force a rerun between the top two, yet want Karzai to win. Why have the elections taken place in the first place if we knew the votes would be on tribal lines? They clearly don't want us there or our elections and we can afford to leave. Pakistan is the threat now and we need to be there. The Afghan elections were a sham just to justify our presence there.
The 9/11 terrorist attack on the trade towers was not only a crime against man but against all life and the God to which the terrorist claim to act for.
You only have to study every religion and you will see the same rules. "Thy shall not kill."
The only way they can stop terrorism in future is to educate the younger generations that it is wrong and make them realise what their elders do is wrong and show them what a better life they can have, instead of holding out in caves and being brainwashed to believing it is their god who is telling them to destruct other people's live.
This has to be done as soon as possible before someone hands them a nuclear device.
We have seen explosions all over the globe now from mad, misled and under-educated people and although some may say these have gone to University and got degrees in a high profession; I don't think it is very clever to go and blow people up.
My other feeling go to the relatives who lost their loved ones at this horrific murder. Because of the way our Government has allowed the Scottish justice system hand a terrorist back to Libya. I thought Scotland was part of the UK?
Or was Gordon Brown passing the buck for which he is famous for.
~ 102 Minutes that changed America ~
Today is the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers on 9/11. To mark this important day I am writing a review on a memorial programme that I watched the other day. This Monday as I spent an evening with my mum we sat down to watch some TV and came across a new documentary which tells the story of 9/11 by collating unseen eyewitness videos. This was aired on Channel four and was called- 102 Minutes that changed America. The documentary is a series of footage from all different kinds of Americans who witnessed the attacks. The collection shows some new astonishing images of the real life events and scenes of the city. These videos have been shown on the internet and I came across one today on Sky news showing the impact for the second plane.
One person who shows their footage is a student which is staying eight blocks from the towers. They account the second plane crashing and close ups of everything that happens. It is very frightening to watch. Black smoke hurls from the crash and covers the street to darkness. They have to quickly shut the window to prevent it filling their apartment. The sights are unbelievable and on a nice sunny clear day it is turned to complete darkness by rubble. The students are so scared they pack a bag and are seen running from the building. It shows you how terrifying it really was for those around the city. They did not know if anything else would happen or if they would be attacked further. The footage was from mainly personal cameras and a little from the TV. It showed you what time everything happened and the different views of the account. The editing was done brilliantly and all the footage put together looked really good. The lack of commentary was a good move and all the sound is music and the people filming. People describe the atmosphere around them and I remember a quote from an emergency service man saying- 'The smell is unbelievable. The smell of burning wire and metal'.
I was pretty bewildered by the images shown and was so intrigued by the programme I didn't move. The adverts were really annoying and totalled the documentary running for an hour and a half. I was really interested to see what new footage they had as I had not seen a lot. As the events now reach eight years I was twelve when it happened and can remember coming in from school and seeing it on the news.
It was a really well made documentary and I liked the fact they had footage from many different people which gave you a wide ranged of views of the events.
~ REMEMBER ~
The 9/11 events happened now eight years ago which i cannot believe.
From this review I would recommend the watch of the documentary. I would also like this to remind people that it is the anniversary today and maybe have a quiet minute to remember the people that died.
We must remember everyone involved, the people in the World Trade Centre, the Fire fighters and service men and women, the passengers of the flights that crashed.
There was also a third plane which crashed into the pentagon and the reminder of a fourth which crashed in a field as passengers managed to regain control and save another attack which meant to sacrifice themselves. There were no survivors on any of the flights.
Thank you for reading. Also published on Ciao SEPT 2009.
I thought for my 300th review I would tell you about my experience of September 11th 2001 which when looking back now will probably be one of the scariest few days of my life. It certainly is going to be something that will stay with me forever - and will certainly be something I can dine out on for a few years yet!
Back in 2001 one of the main ways to book a holiday was to check 'teletext' for the latest offers. Because my dad's birthday is on the 12th September we decided to go around this time and because I wasn't due to go back to University until late September. I booked up the flight and we went with 'Air India'. The flight took seven hours and we were only due to go for three nights so it was a big deal - for my dad and myself it was going to be our first time on an aeroplane.
We arrived at JFK quite early in the afternoon on September the 10th and got into a yellow cab and headed out to Manhattan Island. Out of the window of the taxi I can quite clearly remember seeing the twin towers looming on the horizon. We had that trip pencilled in for the next morning, but we were bushed and got a bit of kip at the hotel before venturing out for evening dinner. Our hotel was based on West 96th Street, which was parallel with Central Park, the Museum of Natural History (where Ben Stiller fights dinosaurs in Night at the Museum) and the University (where Bill Murray dances around the fountain in Ghostbusters). So we had a Subway for our dinner and decided to get up early the next morning and head on down to the World Trade Centre to get a glimpse of the city from above.
When we woke it must have been around 8am. I knew I had to make a call to the airport first thing, so I called them at around 9 after a bagel breakfast. The lady on the phone was obviously distracted but I couldn't tell why. When I put the phone down I overheard a conversation between a couple behind me saying an aeroplane had gone into the World Trade Centre. I had once heard a story of a helicopter flying into the Empire State before by accident, terrorism never once entered into the explanation.
I talked to Dad about what I had heard and we didn't really think much of it to tell you the truth, because at that time we hadn't really taken in the scale of the building or seen any footage from television, this was just word of mouth. However, as we walked down Broadway and then 5th Avenue it became apparent what had happened was a little more serious than we had first imagined.
People were walking in the opposite direction from us and were obviously flustered. We heard people's radios from taxis relaying the information and it started to get a little scary. We could see dust and a large cloud starting to form at the bottom of 5th avenue. It was then when we heard a massive rumble; we knew then that this was one of the towers collapsing.
Minutes later as we approached 42nd street there suddenly came a huge throng of people running and screaming towards us. Someone shouted that a bomb was about to go off in Grand Central Station. There really was nothing else to do but run ourselves - we were literally bricking it. We ran into a shop, but knew if a building was to collapse there really was nowhere to escape in a city of towering buildings. I can only describe that moment as one of the scariest moments of my life and when I saw the film 'Cloverfield' it brought me right back to that moment when they run into that shop when Godzilla comes down the street.
Luckily it wasn't Godzilla and there was no bomb in Grand Central. We emerged from the shop and headed down to Times Square, it was there in a McDonalds where we had our lunch did we see the footage on the TV screens. It was then when we realised how bad things were.
The strange thing was that things were still happening and open. The shops and restaurants were still open and busy, for the next few days at least. People seemed to be going about their business as usual. I won a HMV voucher in a store on September the 11th; we ate dinner in a nice restaurant in the evening on Manhattan Island, so not everyone was as affected looking at it now.
However, we did try and get down as far as we could to the World Trade Centre, which was a few blocks up. We saw helicopters, army, firefighters and police heading down towards 'Ground Zero'. Many people were cheering for those guys going into the remains of the towers.
We spent the next couple of days going around the city, not really doing much, the Empire State was closed for obvious reasons, some of the shops were still open - but then we started to get worried about getting home. How would we get back? We did manage to obviously - and stay a few more nights in our hotel. The rest of the hotel was being used by various firemen who had come as far as San Francisco to help in the relief effort. It certainly was a crazy time, but from where we were life seemed to go as normal in New York.
Whatever you say about the lunatics that committed the mass murder on that morning, we should never have used it as an excuse to go to war. You can now pinpoint from that moment until now how our civil liberties have changed - ID cards and stop and search. No one had ever heard of 'extreme' Islamic militants - let alone having them live and train in our country. Whatever happened on that day, we should never have then gone onto kill three times as many more Iraqis and Afghans because of it.
It's a day I will never remember for the rest of my life, and I can tell the story over and over again and I never get tired of it - it will be interesting to see if anyone else on here was there at the same time. I certainly caused a big fuss when I returned, especially for my family who were obviously distressed about Dad and I out there at the time. For me, I wished I could have been there before and witnessed the towers before they were destroyed, just to see what they were like. You can never really adequately explain to people the size of the buildings in New York and their dominance on the skyline, lets hope whatever they put there in that place will be equally as magnificent and send two fingers up to Al Quida and Bin Laden.
This is a very personal account of sept 11th.
It is about the loss of my dear cousin Edward Kraft Oliver who died aged 32 in the twin towers, New York City, America.
Eddie was a family man, with a wife and two children under the age of 2. He worked in the financial quarter of New York city and on Sept 11 he went into the office of Carr Futures.
Just a normal guy, on a normal day, doing a normal job.... nothing normal about that day.
When the plane hit and Eddie realised that he was in trouble he called his wife. As they were talking the phone went dead.
Here, over in England we tried desperately hard to get hold of Eddie and his parents with no luck. They were not answering the phone and we knew in our hearts it was bad news.
After two weeks we managed to get hold of Eddie's dad who confirmed that he had been in the twin towers as it had collapsed on that fateful day but they still did not have any confirmation of his death.... nothing.
Eddie's body was eventually found around 3-4 weeks after the attack and his family were able to grieve for another of America's innocent victims. His family left without a son, a father and a husband.
Picking up the pieces has been incredibly hard but I am so pleased to say his wife has now re-married a fire officer who attended the victims on September 11th. Eddie would be pleased that she and his children have found happiness in another.
I would rather keep my political views of this situation private but thought it would be good to share a more personal account of how this terrible day affected our family.
Lets pray for peace in 2009.
Thank you for reading x
Terrorism has never before been a bigger issue than it is today. The problem I have with it is that if America, and indeed the rest of the world, want to combat terrorism, then I don't really think that banning veils etc. is the way to go about it. I admit, catching a train late at night on your own with a group of completly covered women (head to toe) is rather frightening, however in this situation I would just imagine being the woman underneath. When one is wearing a hat or glasses, you do not look the same but inside you feel you look just as normal as everyone else.
America stereotypically has an image of stupidity and rashness and the war in Iraq, in my opinion, can only strengthen this in people's eyes. America also stereotypically has an anti-islamic attitude, also strengthened by it's alledged "favouritism" towards Israel. If America could lose these two images then the war on terror would in turn be a lot easier to win.
Of course there are extremists that are so committed to their cause that even if there are no longer any resentent toward America they will insist on attacking. This might as well be catagorised defferently to terrorism though.
All in all it's a difficult situation with no easy answer but a little more respect and agape (love for your fellow human being, whoever they are) would go a long way to end this "war". Everyone would love "world peace" but realistically this is never going to happen, just as world poverty is an ever turning circle, I fear terrorism will constantly reign...
Ok, now I am writing this obviously since the Iraq war and everything that has gone on in the UK with the London Bombings.
My view is simple, Terrorism is war - what more it is the worst type of war possible, as it hits at innocent (i.e. unarmed and not prepared) people and not an Army for example.
Now it is clear that what happened at 911 was a terrible tradegy, many people lost their lives and it truly is horrible that this could be done. Now terrorism has been going on for years, we have had the IRA in the UK, you have terrorists in Spain, Germany and most other regions around the world.
I think I can safely say, that recently no terrorist organisation has gained what they want from war. In some cases they have got a result when resorting to peaceful measures, but that is another story.
I think that America has the right and the duty to fight back on anyone who commits a terrible act of terrorism on its soil. There is a film called Swordfish (which was due to be released shortly after the 911 bombings I think but was obviously delayed). This talks about a group who decides to use force against force, i.e. hitting back against those who plan and organise the stikes. In my mind they have a valid point and those who commit these plans and carry them out should be punished in any method possible.
I am not going to talk about Iraq or Afganistan here, because those are different subjects and really has little to do with 911 (even though I would say the US would claim it does). But when you consider any attempt to wipe out a terrorist group like those who organised 911, then I would say they are perfectly justified in taking any action against that.
I would say that America does have a bad name in the Middle East because they do see themselves as the world policeman (and with their size as the last remaining super power then that is to an extent correct). I would say that under no circumstances can an attack like 911 be justified and the US should do anything they can to protect their soil.
Anyway, thanks for reading this.
Well may I first express my deepest and most profound regret that the events of the past few years ever occurred, I remember feeling like Id been punched in the gut the day I watched the images of people jumping from the two towers rather than face the inferno within. Yet I feel that as with many things the emotional impact of this tragedy has overshadowed the important issues it highlight and shows, for example the anger many people of the middle east feel with the continued meddling of the US in their region, but also with the fact that it takes events such as these to bring such subjects to the attention of the people of not only America but of the world.
I myself remember that before the attacks I was remarkably unaware of what happened outside Europe, something I suspect youth had a lot to do with but also with the nature of humanity. That which is far away is of less interest, be that distance emotional, geographical or political. Either way since that day I have taken a greater interest in the relation between America and many other countries and after a short while I came to the conclusion that the US had been lucky to get away without some such attacks for as long as it had.
The United States has meddled, interfered and generally stuck its big foot in all manner of places that it doesnt belong, often done in the name of policing the world. To back this up they often point out several human rights offences committed by these countries, a huge level of hypocrisy is involved in such statements given the track record of America. Its the 2nd or 3rd biggest executioner of prisoners in the world, its the only nation to have ever used biological (Vietnam) weapons, only nation to use weapons of so called mass destruction (Nagasaki and Hiroshima) as well as ignoring almost any UN sanction it chooses too.
The sad thing is that the nature of Americas involvement in the world can be attributed only to its government rather than its people. I say sad because the reason that the population of America is not to blame is that in many cases its barely aware of the events that have occurred.
I suspect I should end this before I start on the influence of corporate America and government policy (how long would it take for them to produce efficient alternate energy if they sake the money they spend stabilising oil prices into research really) and conclude this little tirade, the longer America continues to involve itself in the politics of other countries in such a powerful and controlling manner then the longer it will have to face the hatred of the world. A hatred that is growing as more and more learn the truth of Americas foreign policies.
A quick note, firstly Im English and not of US origin, as I imagine is obvious. But I also wish to state how much I in many ways admire the American way of life and of the many powerful and influential men it has produced in the name of genuine peace. A shame that now it is not only the people of that nation that must fight the power to gain equality and freedom, but the rest of the world as well.
The events of 9/11 are our generation's "JFK". They say everyone can remember where they were when they heard about the assassination of President Kennedy - I'm sure we can all remember where we were when we heard about the planes crashing into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. I know I can. I was at work. It seemed like any other day at first. I had the usual stock count, customer queries and the like, then I went to the canteen to get a coffee, and there was a news bulletin on the TV. I remember feeling numb as I watched it, with cold shivers running up and down my body. I can still feel it now, and its 2 years gone. I'm actually sitting here with the same shivers as I write this, which is totally unexpected... What happened that day was, and is, a tragedy. I know people who have lost loved ones who worked in the WTC buildings, and I feel for them. We held remembrance services at work, and people were genuinely moved, despite the fact that they may well not have known anyone who was involved. As time went on, and the initial shock wore off, there were other opinions coming to the fore. I should say here that I am from the UK. I'm sure a lot of people will have heard about the backlash that occurred a while after 9/11, with some voices saying that America had brought it on themselves. My own feelings by then were mixed. I guess this is where I might start treading on toes - I don't think my views are going to be particularly popular. So do I think that America and the American people deserved this? Definitely not. No country or people could deserve what happened, and I sincerely hope to God it never happens again. I don't even think that Americans particularly brought it on themselves. In all honesty, my feelings at that point were more to do with a comparison of what happened at the WTC site, and my own country's experiences with terrorism in the form of the
IRA. Before seeing the news bulletin in the canteen at work that day, the last time I had those same chills was when I was a teenager watching the news one Saturday afternoon. My father had gone into London for the day, and suddenly I was watching a report on two bombs going off in Central London - right in the area he was going to. As it turned out, he was unharmed, but I won't forget the three hours I spent trying to get hold of him, phoning hospitals, police stations, relatives and incident hotlines. The bombs were planted by the IRA or one of its numerous splinter groups. And the biggest source of funding for these terrorists? The USA. I sympathise with the American people for what happened on 9/11, I really do. But while I will always remember being in the canteen watching the images of planes crashing into the World Trade Centre, I'll also remember the less publicised events of that Saturday morning in London.
I have something that I would like share with you, this thanksgiving season. My 10 year old grand daughter wrote this at school. The people of our country have fought for us, during the good times and the bad. We stick together as one. We have got thru the good times and the bad. Now since we are free some people say, Free are we the people of AMERICA. Each of us matter to, God...... I didn't correct any of her spelling mistakes, because I wanted it to be her own words and not mine. But, as they say, out of the mouths of babe's. They can bomb us, but they will never take away our America pride or the love of our country. We will always stand together as a people. We are winning ever day, just by the kindness we show to other's. Happy Thanksgiving!
'Oh My God! Come quickly! You Won't Believe This!' This was what I was greeted with arriving home from school on September 11th. It had been a good day. I had only been in my new High School a week, and I was beginning to settle in. As I strolled home in the sun, thinking of how good things were going, actually looking forward to school the next day, I had no idea of the devastation that was happening. I had no idea that over 2,000 innocent people had died. That was, until I stepped into the front porch of my home. My brother came running over to me shouting my name repeatedly and cursing. Confused, he dragged me into the living room where I was shoved in front of the TV. And at that very moment, I knew that the world would never, COULD never, be the same again. A million different emotions swept through my mind, all of them bad. What I was seeing couldn't be real. It had to be a clip from some new action movie. But it was real, it was happening, right as I watched. I was looking at an image of the two towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. But they were different. in fact, there was black smoke billowing out of the tops. My Brother explained terrorists had flown aircraft into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre, The Pentagon in Washington DC, and another had crashed in Pennsylvania. (I had imagined little fighter planes, not huge airliners) We were watching BBC1, but they had deleted the schedule, and in its place was live coverage taken from BBC News 24. The writing at the bottom of the screen said 'Twin Towers completely flattened by terrorists. I thought aloud, 'but they can't be, they're still there on screen'. It was then pictures of these great towers falling were shown. And I watched on in shock. Not just that, but another thought crossed my mind. We were due to go to New York in 6 weeks time. It was to be my first time in America. We were planning to go up the Twin Towers. I had r
esearched into them. What were we going to do? But the shock, and worry, I was feeling, standing in my living room watching pictures, was nothing to the shock anyone in New York, or Washington, or anywhere where the attacks were, was feeling. It now surprises me that at that time how little everyone knew about what was happening. No one knew exactly what sort of planes had been used. No one knew who had done it. No one knew what was going to happen next. At this moment, anything seemed possible. My dad rang up, asking where everyone was, making sure we were all home. He said he wanted to come home to get one last look at his family before we died. Maybe not that blatantly, but that was what he was implying. He really thought the Americans were going to do something stupid in return. Of course, 1 year later, they are, but I?m not here to talk about that. I spent the next couple of hours watching, still in shock, the coverage on TV. When I came home it had been 2 hours since the first plane hit, by the time I stopped watching it had been 5 hours. While I watched, more news came in. More pictures. Pictures of people covered in dust, walking down streets covered in dust. More pictures of the Pentagon, and one of its sides collapsing. More pictures from the crash site in Pennsylvania. Speeches from World Leaders. Everyone in shock. It seemed, nowhere was safe. Anything could happen next. The President of the USA was up in the air above America. All flights to and from America were cancelled, and airports closed. My friend's dad was on a flight from London to Boston. Almost half-way across the Atlantic, the flight turned around and headed back. Imagine the panic of people on such planes. Only being told things were being destroyed across America and It wasn't safe to land there. I went to sleep on the night of September 11th wondering what was next. Over the coming weeks things slightly returned to normal, at least as normal as they
could possibly be. The hope of finding survivors in the rubble diminished, and workers concentrated on removing the rubble. The actual terrorists who hijacked the planes had their identities uncovered, and with that the USA found a main culprit; Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terrorist network. America strikes back and bombs Afghanistan, where the Taliban is toppled and a normal government reformed. Osama Bin Laden is still not caught, and some rumours believe him to be dead. In Lessons in school we talked about it, had debates. I needn't carry on explaining events such as these that happened after September 11th, as everyone knows them already. I shall move back to my story. What I got annoyed with was the fact that people seemed to forget that people died heroically not just New York. When ever September 11th was mentioned, no one thought of Washington or Pennsylvania, they just thought of New York. As all these events happened, the clock ticked down to October half term, when we due to fly out to New York. We really didn't want to go anymore, nor did anyone. But we were not allowed a refund, and we had to wait until the night before we flew out to New York. In the end, we ended up going, which was really a good thing, because we were all packed. And the next day, we went to Newcastle Airport. Newcastle Airport is a fairly small airport, with mainly national flights but a growing number of international flights to Europe. The airport, today, seemed quiet. Security was at large. In the scanners, anything at all suspicious was called back so Security could have a proper look. We flew to Amsterdam, where we changed to New York. Both flights were with KLM. The Magazines onboard, and a new program on the TV explained KLM were to cut staff, aircraft and routes due to September 11th. And they weren't the only ones. All Airlines went through the same problems. People were too scared to fly. There were, thankfully, a decent number of people onthe fl
ights. Six weeks on people were beginning to come back to air travel. I don't like air travel full stop so I wouldn't enjoy the flights much anyway. The journey was safe, however, but delayed. We boarded the plane an hour late at Amsterdam because there had been a problem with the air conditioning. We drove across New York by taxi, travelling to our hotel in Manhattan, the Edison. As Manhattan island itself came into sight, we noticed the gap in the skyline at one end. It was dark, and the Empire State Building (which always has coloured lights illuminating it's spire at night) was showing the colours of the American Flag. In our week in New York we stayed mostly in Midtown Manhattan, but even there the reminders were there. Posters, stuck up on walls, each with a different message. The Most memorable one I can remember was one that was very simple, yet effective. It was the USA flag, with a silhouette of the Twin Towers, and a message underneath; we Will Never Forget. And on the metro system, the World Trade Centre Station remained on the map. This was a city still very much recovering. On one of our final days we decided to get the ferry to Staten Island. The ferry terminal in Manhattan is just round the block from Ground Zero. As we went down the streets (and these were several away from Ground Zero) you could tell it was there. The air seemed heavier. And then there was the smell. The stench of burning, of dust, and of death. It was a powerful yet terrible sensation. On The way back into Manhattan we actually walked as close as you can get to Ground Zero. The Small streets and paths that led to it were blocked off with tall metal fences, but you could see through them. You could see the remains of the Winter Gardens Centre, (a shopping Mall) now just a skeleton. You could see the remains of the stubs of the Twin Towers, and the unmistakable wall patterns. The Buildings surrounding the site had all of their windows smashed, pre
sumably when the Towers collapsed. The Fences stopping us from getting closer were decorated with American Flags, tributes from school children and people all over the world. These tributes were all over New York. When we went up the Empire State Building (which we did twice, once in the day and once at night) you could see it. By day, you could see the smoke rising up. By night, huge floodlights illuminated the scene. Workers literally worked 24 hours for months to clear the remains. One day we even went past the offices that had held the Antrax virus. The doors were sealed but you could feel the emptiness around the building. Generally New Yorkers seemed happy to see us. They were glad people were still coming to their city. When I got back, people were still shocked at the photos I showed them. But they didn't really know. You can only get so much from photos. It's entirely different actually being there. The atmosphere is something unique. The sadness hangs in the air itself. Some people call me sick, going out to New York to see the remains of a disaster. But these are the people who didn't know we booked to go out there months before September 11th . We didn't know. If someone had told us, or anyone, beforehand, what was going to happen, we wouldn't have believed it. No one would. The idea would seem impossible. In ways, I am glad I went out there when I did. I am glad I saw what I saw. In other ways, I Wish I had never gone. The experience will stick in my mind forever. But my experiences were nothing compared to what New Yorkers experienced that terrible day. Not just New Yorkers, but people in Washington, and Pennsylvania. So just you think about that, next time you see a film clip or a photo of that day, that day that changed our world in a way that is totallly indescribable.
I may be mis-interpreting the title but I thought that rather than talking about the shocking attacks on America, I might instead make an attack on America. Well sort of. I decided this category needed a bit of humour so I've put together a collection of President Bush quotes for your amusement. These are all from all sorts of different sources so I'm not going to give a mention to them. OK. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "And there's no doubt in my mind, not one doubt in my mind, that we will fail." - to labor department employees, Oct. 4, 2001. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "This Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Reagan International Airport." - at a press conference, Oct. 2, 2001 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said: 'Wanted, dead or alive.''' - regarding Osama bin Laden, Sept. 17, 2001 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. " - in a meeting with Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, September 13, 2001. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "A vampire is a - a - cell deal you can plug in the wall to charge your cell phone." - At a Colorado Republican fund raising event, August 2001 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Our nation must come together to unite." - June 4, 2001 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease." - June 14, 2001, Press Conference ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly direct
ly overhead."- May 11, 2001 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.'' - February 21, 2001 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"- Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ :] Hope you like those. Fine this op didn't take a huge amount of effort on my part but still I thought it would be interesting to compile a list of Bush quotes and put them somewhere in dooyoo.
I can remember that day aso clearly. It's one of those days that just stick in my mind. I had never really thought about the value of my country, being that I am an American. I never thought much about the World Trade Center. I remember early that morning I was taking a class, and the professor came in and said, " Two planes have just hit the World Trade Center." And you know I really didn't think much of it, my mind was else where. When I went into my next class the t.v. was on CNN. There was one of the buildings engolfed with flames kind of at the top. I just thought, my God all of those people that are burning to death at this very moment,and there is nothing anyone can do about it. I wanted to scream. I wanted to scream so badly to where these awful people that had planned this could hear me, I wanted it to echo in their minds forever. We all just sat there watching, waiting to see what would happen next. Another plane crashes into the second building. " Oh my God these monsters!" Someone says. I starred, with tears falling endlessly from my face. When class was dismissed I immediately went home and locked myself in my apartment and waited for my then fiance to arrive home. When he finally came I hugged him as tight as I could. He kept his arms tightly around me that night, but for some reason I could not sleep.I instantly thought about my mother, we hadn't spoke in so long. I got up at about 3 a.m and called my mother sobbing so much I could hardly speak. "Mama, I just called to say I love you. So many people have lost their lives today. It could have been you or me. I just thank God that you are my mother, and I love you no matter what." I thought to myself, It's a shmame that it took something this powerful to make me realize how precious life is. As I go on with my life with my husband and my family, sharing holidays and birthdays, these people will be forever grieving and regreting all of the things they wish th
ey could have said or done. So why don't you call that special person, just to say I love you or I miss you. Let the past go and live for today, before it's too late.
THANK YOU! OSAMA bin LADEN Yes, we must send you flowers (maybe with an added touch of white powder) call it a token of our sympathy for you because you definitely have a sick twisted mind and ever so strange way of getting attention worldwide for your so called belief in Allah. America may be the “snakes head” but you my dear are the bowels. Actually snakes are lovely creatures so I take that back! Thank you for having the world pull together and rally for peace and unite to put an end to terrorism. Thank you for bringing much needed food and money to the people that are the poorest in the world. The television coverage of the destitute, starving human beings that lived under your great rule, tortured and deprived of everyday frivolities such as food and clean drinking water! Oh yes, and schooling. Thank you for putting patience, kindness and love; not to mention unselfish generosity and unending passion back into the hearts of so many people that were satisfied to walk by a stranger and to not hold out a hand or give a kind word. Thank you for making the Americans really look out for that junk mail! I know if I should receive an envelope or package from an unknown source I can put it in a plastic bag and send it to my Government. Or should I send it back to you and your little nasty vermin living in the bowels of the devil, safe and clean from your defiling acts upon the rest of the world? Thank you for making myself and I’m sure many others, aware of the many different beliefs and religions of the people on earth. We all worship our God in the way we want and for the most part it’s one and the same. Whether we’re Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Native American, Hindu, Taoist, Muslim…well, you get the picture…we don’t hurt each other for the sake of our beliefs. We’re like a hodgepodge of colored jellybeans all in one big jar! Maybe you should t
ry it. Thank you for making our children want to become heroes like the firemen, policemen and all the nurses, doctors, teachers, mothers, fathers and lost souls of the September 11 disaster instead of aliens, monsters, gunmen and generally evil guys of the world. (Like you.) Perhaps the politically correct parents that forbid their children to even fire a water pistol had the right idea. It saddens me to see children of your regime as young as six getting joy out of killing fellow people instead of filling their precious minds with knowledge and laughing at silly children jokes instead of laughing at writhing fallen children of a different sect. Thank you for making me proud to be a woman of this society that allows me to go to school and do something with my mind instead of hiding in the house because a fool such as yourself forbids it! I can even put on makeup and go outside! You made me look at how the women of your rule are so deprived and treated like the dirt under your nails. They are human beings with feelings, pride and intelligence. Perhaps you are afraid one might become educated and throw you out on your ear. Maybe she’ll show you how to get your country economically stable with productiveness instead of violence. What do you think? Well, that all said, all the lives lost for your selfishness and all the lives that will be lost because of you we are still a strong, united world out here. The people of these nations will never be the same, but we will not give in to your terrorist actions. We will befriend people of a different cultural background, we will continue to travel, we will continue to trust each other, open our mail and in general be something you can never be again and that is to be FREE. Thank you. © Susan snow - other works by this author - - view author's biography - Author's Comments on "THANK YOU! OSAMA bin LADEN" something I had to say and
please I hope it doesn't offend anyone....i have a strange sense of humor