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Breakfast Thursday, 5 September, 2002, 05:55 GMT 06:55 UK
America: one year on
This week on Breakfast, we begin a special series on how life has changed in America over the past year.



Here, Graham gives us his personal account:

"To have a plane fly into your brother's building changes the whole world."

It certainly changed Rita Lasar's world. Her brother Abe was killed in the World Trade Centre.
peace activist Rita Lasar
Rita: "not in my name"

When we met in her appartment in the East Village Rita was exhausted, she'd just come back from Hiroshima. She's a 70 year old woman whose life has been transformed in the last year.

She was so horrified by the bombing campaign in Afghanistan she decided to go there.

She told the relatives of those killed by American bombs she was sorry. She wanted to say "not in my name, not in my brother's name."

Rita is pretty unusual in America.

A country at war

Everywhere you go you see the stars and stripes. Flags still hang from most buildings. Bill boards 30 feet high in New York, Washington, Pittsburgh, everywhere say "United We Stand" and "God Bless America". It can be quite overwhelming. There is no doubt this is a country at war.
Kyle's father died in the Twin Towers attack

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Birdwell spent a month in intensive care last year.

The plane that hit the Pentagon left him with 60 per cent burns, fighting for his life.

Lieutenant Colonel Birdwell's treatment was horrific. For three days maggots ate the dead flesh from his burned arms. But he won the battle and remarkably he's back at work, proudly fighting the war on terror.

"Al Qaeda are an evil to be eradicated" he told me "they are not to be negotiated with - they are to be defeated."

My hardest interview

This is the majority view. But 9/11, as they call it here, is essentially a personal tragedy. The anniversary will be a difficult reminder for thousands of families of loved ones no longer here.

"We've lived September the eleventh all year long" Lynn Morris told me. Her husband Seth worked for Cantor Fitzgerald and died in the World Trade Centre.

We met her three children Maddy, 10; Kyle, 8, and Hayley, 6, at a Summer Camp set up specifically for the children who had lost either their mum or dad on September the eleventh.

In a trip of very difficult interviews, these were the hardest.

Kyle told me about his Dad.

"He was the funnest most strongest most happiest person. He was friendliest guy in the world. He used to tickle me till my brains fell out - he was really really strong, really really strong and he was the greatest."

It's difficult to think of anything an eight year old boy could say about his dead father that could be more moving.

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