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Thursday, 20 September, 2001, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Europe mourns: How have the US attacks affected you?
Europe is in mourning as it counts the human cost of Tuesday's terror attacks in the US.

The 43 nations of the Council of Europe called for all of their 800 million citizens to observe three minutes of silence on Friday.

Up to 20,000 people may have died in the US tragedy, according to new estimates and it is not just the US who is counting its dead.

Countries all over Europe and the rest of the world have confirmed that their citizens are among the fatalities.

In the UK, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has warned that the final toll of UK victims in the attacks is expected to be in the "middle hundreds" and may be higher still.

How have Tuesday's attacks affected Europe? Have you lost any friends or relatives in the tragedy?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

In light of this terrible attack, I would like to send out a simple message to the people. Know that we will all get through this as long as we stand united to fight this evil. It's not going to be easy, I know. My boyfriend is a Senior Airman in the USAF based at RAF Lakenheath(UK). I feel very proud that he and the rest of the brave military troops are willing to fight for our country so gallantly. Good will triumphs over evil, and justice will prevail. In the meantime, pray for the victims and wish all the luck in the world to the people who are being sent to fight. Just remember to keep smiling. God bless us all, and may God have mercy on the terrorists souls - they are going to need it.
Chiara Scarlett, UK

They are in our prayers, as we know you will keep us in yours

Jim Pastorius, Portland, Oregon
Thank you! We want our friends around the world to know that your expressions of sympathy are being received in the USA. While our focus is still on searching for possible survivors in NCY, and cleaning up at the Pentagon, we are seeing and hearing your prayers for the victims. And yes, we are aware of the high numbers of people from other countries who were killed along with our citizens. They are in our prayers, as we know you will keep us in yours.
Jim Pastorius, Portland, Oregon

Thank you, Your Majesty and Brits for playing our national anthem at the changing of the guard. I cried when I heard it on the radio. I felt that our Mother Country had not forgotten us. And thanks to all people from all over for your letters. Our TV media still doesn't get it about keeping us informed about what's going on in the rest of the world. There has been only skimpy coverage of the outpouring of support from the rest of the world. Reading the letters from all over the world on the internet has helped to keep me sane over the past several days.

At least some of us Americans know that the irritation, anger, and sometimes condescension that other countries direct toward us is sometimes, or even often, justified. We can be arrogant, incredibly selfish, and simplistic, but we truly would like to be friends with everybody.

May our hearts not be broken but broken open to new ways to relate to one another, to learn more about our Muslim brothers and sisters, to better distribute the world's resources and goodies, etc. so that fewer will succumb to the insane tenets of terrorism. God/Yahweh/Allah/Brahma, bless us all.
J.K. Short, Houston TX USA

I, too, have felt a hundred different emotions over the last few days, including fear, anger, great sorrow, compassion, and hopelessness. Every day when I think of all the people who died from so many different countries, I cry. I am originally from NYC and my father has worked at the WTC for 12 years. My family was lucky that he took a vacation day that day. He is there now working as part of the rescue efforts. I have been reading the words of Martin Luther King Jnr and praying that my government follows a path of non-violence.

Honestly, one of the hardest things for me has been admitting and truly acknowledging the role that my own government played in this terrible tragedy. And I feel great sorrow for all the countries in the world. The WTC housed banks from all over the world and so there were many, many international workers and tourists there. My father reminded me of how many Afghanis worked with him and also lost their lives.
Kris Smith, Oakland, CA, USA

I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the people of England, the Queen, and Tony Blair for your support. Tony Blair gave a riveting speech, and one of the most touching moments last week, was hearing the Star Spangled Banner played at Buckingham Palace during the changing of the guard, and seeing the tears on the faces of our British neighbours grieving with us. That was most honourable and touching. As an American proud of my British ancestry, thank for your support.
Jack Petty, Cincinnati, USA

My heart goes to those who lost their loved ones in the World Trade Centre and Pentagon tragedies. My heart also goes out to those who have lost their beloved ones to any senseless violence. I, for one believe mankind, has the right to live in peace and harmony. Misery has got no place on this earth. No one has the right cause misery to another
G, Ngakane, Gaborone, Botswana

I have felt sick to the core of my stomach, since watching Tuesday's tragic events unfold live on my television in front of me. I felt terror, even though I was thousands of miles away, Tony Blair is right this was an attack on all of us, and in reality could have happened anywhere, we would be wrong to sit back and let others fight this war in the name of freedom, my only hope is, that in the process more innocent lives are not lost around the world. Act in haste, and repent at your leisure! God bless all victims of this most tragic event.
Clare Bowers, Guildford, England

While I respect the views of Richard of Cambridge and others who may share his opinion, I'm troubled by the rationale he's applying to the situation. Using his contention that leaders like Bush and Blair are to some degree the cause of world terrorism, I would submit that his logic is backward and ill conceived. This would be like suggesting that a woman has only herself to blame for a rape, since she shouldn't have been wearing such provocative clothes in the first place. Shame on you Richard and your ilk!!
Jeff, Chicago, USA

The events that took place on Tuesday 11th September has changed everybody's life. The images seen on this dreadful day will stay with me forever and my heart goes out to all those affected by it. When my nine year-old daughter watches these horrific scenes of violence on television I realise that these terrorist have taken not only taken innocent lives but they have taken an innocence from the young, they have exposed our children to vile, cowardly violence. How can such hatred justify that?

This past week has shook us to the bone and I believe 100% in supporting any action taken against those accountable. I would fight for my freedom and for my child's and other people's children's safety for the future which means being strong willed and not relenting to fear. I would urge others to do the same.
Helen Newport, Cheshire, England

I wish to thank all from around the world who have mourned and sent us their prayers - and I want to send my sympathies and prayers to the 30 plus countries worldwide who have also lost family and friends - who have hope against hope for a miracle that their missing will be found - along with the many here in the USA. May God touch you all and ease your pain. I also pray for God to bless and protect our militaries who are called to duty. May he guide all of our leaders - American and all of our allies alike. We all need to come together now more than ever and with God's help - may we be blessed with strength and endurance in what is yet to come. This is not only our crisis in the USA - but your crisis as well.
Joanie Malek, Minocqua,Wisconsin USA

It is difficult not to be affected. Nobody could have ever imagined that something so horrific could happen in reality. Up to now, only the worse Hollywood movies have depicted something similar. All the sympathy and prayers go to the dead, and to those who have suffered and continue to suffer as a consequence of the worse act of terrorism of all times. Now we have to live with this and I hope we can learn something too.

I see so much nationalism around. So may American flags, national anthems, talks of war and hate. Nationalism is not the way. We should try to live in this world as individuals rather that American, British, European, or Arabs. We have to accept our differences. We shouldn't believe that there are American heroes and Arab terrorists. There are only good and bad people regardless of origins. Lets pull together rather that embarking in a destructive war. After all I am sure the terrorist aim is to provoke a conflict, a clash of civilisations. Hope we are not so foolish as to repeat the errors of the past.
Eddy B, London, UK

The attacks on the US have badly shaken me and my heart goes out to everybody affected. This is a thing almost too horrible to even think about. However, what scares me most now is that this will turn into a war of different world views. The fanatics that have lead and organised the attacks on the US are just that, fanatics. They are not everyday people with real reasons behind what they do. They are no different from a serial killer who kills for incomprehensible reasons. This has nothing to do with Islam or capitalism. However, some of the people and governments supporting the terrorists, without getting involved in the details, are doing so for a reason. Their reasoning has to do with mishandling of situations in the past and present, with famine, with valid reasons. An attack on Afghanistan or any other Muslim country would just lead to more atrocities instead of stopping terrorism.

I am scared of all this talk of war. The discussion should be about what diplomatic means can be used to prevent more atrocities like this to happen again, not about military actions. The other thing that really scares me is that people in this country and others now start to lay the blame on their Muslim neighbours or on refugees and asylum seekers from Muslim countries. I wish people would not mistake fanatics for human beings. They are NOT. I agree that some action has to be taken, but I really wish that the action will be against the terrorists and not against innocent people.
Sybille Sterk, Cambridge, UK

Thank you so much for keeping us in your prayers

Julie, Washington DC, USA
The heartfelt prayers and sympathy from our cousins across the sea mean so much. With the loss of as many as 500 Britons in the WTC it must be very difficult for the UK victims' families to be so very far away and unable to help or be near. Thank you so much for keeping us in your prayers. Please know you are in ours as well.
Julie, Washington DC, USA

While I have been saddened at the loss of life in America I have found myself infuriated by the hypocrisy of George Bush and Tony Blair. Both are heads of governments that have repeatedly supported terrorist organisations in other countries because of political dogma. This action is directly responsible for the creation of the Taliban, Saddam Hussein's army, Pinochet and a hundred other objectionable regimes around the world. If America wants to smite terrorism from the face of the earth it would do well to start at its own front door.
Richard, Cambridge, England

Isn't it strange how Nato countries can train terrorists when it serves their purpose but declare war on them when they are attacked themselves?
R, England

As a dual citizen of the USA and UK, I am feeling embarrassed that I have never sung the US national anthem. I am currently learning the words and will be in Michigan next July 4th, ready to sing with all my might.
Jon Hawkins, Bristol, UK

I would call it the world against the terrorists

Roberto Balistrieri, Milano, Italy

I am Muslim. My eyes got wet when I saw south tower of WTC collapsed, just a moment before it collapsed, I saw few people waving shirts in their hands for help. I was just praying if some helicopters come and would rescue them - but they never got that chance, THEY JUST GONE IN A GLIMPSE. My God, how cruel it is to kill innocent people. It is same "red" blood, which ran in all humans; regardless they are Muslims, Christians, and Jews etc. I feel same pain when I saw Israel killing innocent PalestineS and Serbs killing people in Bosnia. Now the Question is: What are the lessons to be learned from this such disasters? We must work towards greater mutual understanding. We must listen to each other. We must humanize one another, and this cannot be done at a distance. We cannot afford let bomb teach this moment. Are we not all God's creatures? Do we not all have stomachs, feel cold, feel pain, and need comfort? Do we not all deserve to be secure from harm and dispossession?
Nadeem Malik, Antwerpen, Belgium

I watched in horror as terrorism struck New York. I cry for all those who don't know how their loved ones are. I have a younger brother in New York. The world may never understand Israel, but I know after this, that they share the same feelings as I have many times, not knowing if my loved ones are okay after a terrorist suicide attack. It is a terrible feeling.
Tsuri, Israel

America is a dysfunctional family indeed. We bicker with each other incessantly about money, race, religion, and politics. We possess an unheathly fixation with pop culture and the socially elite. We are wealthy and spoiled. And yes, we are powerful and arrogant. It's not difficult to imagine why so many dislike and resent us. Despite all our troubles, we are still a family. And we are, for the most part, decent people. We struggle toward peace in our communities and compassion for each other. We try to do the right thing, though sometimes it goes horribly wrong. The purpose of the letter is not to defend our mistakes nor to exault our accomplishments. This is actually my small attempt to express my gratitude to the world. Like most Americans, the attacks on our country have shaken me to the core. This last week has been a tearful blur of anguish, fear, and smouldering rage. We are alone, I thought, and the world despises us. Then I witnessed something quite remarkable. People from all corners of the world, weeping for our dead and praying for their families. Strangers expressing their sincere condolences and unconditional support. People I've never met from countries I've never been to, coming together to share in our outrage and grief. I know now that we are not alone. This week I have seen the very worst and the absolute best humanity has to offer. My spirit is renewed by the compassion and love displayed by so many across the world. I know we will overcome this together. THANK YOU!
Catherine Freed, Denver, Colorado, USA

One outcome of this whole tragedy is the fact that those who are not US citizens don't seem to figure in the nation's grief. Countries other than the US lost citizens in this attack... how can we mourn our dead when the focus is overwhelmingly on those unfortunate US citizens?
Barry, Crawley UK

If terrorist can use a passenger jet as a weapon of mass destruction and have the sophistication, organization and secrecy to attact the Pentagon, it is just a matter of time before terrorist target some significant landmark in Europe. We should all be concerned for our safety.
Joe Johnson, Berkeley, USA

Before it happened, the morning was one of the most beautiful skies I have ever seen. So blue, I even asked my 10 year old son if he had ever seen the sky look more prettier. Then 8:48am EDT. The evil dark cloud of smoke which hoovered over NYC to my west was a grim reminder of how close this attack was. Later that evening the stars were as brilliant as they ever have been here. But the skies were different now. Fighter planes filled my sky now. Yes, I felt more protected. Then I read the reactions of people from this web site and felt mostly comforted. To know that you felt the same pain as I. I then realized that for this was not just an attack on America, but all mankind. The killings only happened to take place here. This is a battle for which we most win and win now. These terrorists have told the world who ever is against them will be hurt. That means all of us. The time is now. This is our planet, our only planet. We should not have to worry where the next attack comes from. In final, I'd like to thank all from across the globe who have sent their prayers and sympathy. May we all live in peace soon.
James G, Long Island, New York USA

My fiancée and I are Graduate Students at Western Illinois University. We had not viewed any of the media as we were busy preparing for our next class that met in the evening of the WTC tragedy. Upon reaching the building our class was being held we saw there was a posting on the door announcing that all classes at WIU were cancelled, and it asked that we display an American flag. We thought it strange, but we thought it may be a prank, so we proceeded to class when we noticed the news on a monitor in an empty hall except for us it was surrealistic. It was 5 pm CST and it all happened earlier at 9:30 am CST. We stood there not understanding what we were watching on the monitors, we then noticed how alone we were, in a building that is usually full of people, and activity.
Marco Adorno, Macomb, USA

This is personal. I have relatives in New York. I just wonder what next? Nuclear devices? Islamic world should hunt down these inhumane people themselves. Otherwise there might be very dark future for the whole world!
Kimmo Torvinen, Finland

The selfless spirit of co-operation and sacrifice being displayed by ordinary Americans in New York is showing the true greatness of the American Spirit.
Adam Greaves, Briton in Saudi Arabia

During the 3 minutes silence, I was in the World Trade Center of Genova, Italy with a British citizen representing an American firm discussing some business with one of our Italian clients. I would call it the world against the terrorists. 70 Italians, working in the financial district are still missing. America must react and punish the guilty ones but then America must sit down and discuss why this has happened otherwise the risk is to see more and more Twin Towers, skyscrapers, Eiffel tours end up in rubble and smoke.
Roberto Balistrieri, Milano, Italy

My thoughts are with not only those who have lost friends, collegues and loved ones in America but also those in Afghanistan and throughout the middle east; to those who are also innocent civillians living in fear because of actions they could neither control or want.
Paula, Cornwall, UK

My wife had two cousins working on the twin towers till very recently luckily for them their company moved from their premises. So many were not so fortunate. I still can't comprehend the actions of the terrorists ,who can? I mean, do they honestly believe they are going to heaven? Is God going to say "welcome to heaven. Thankyou for killing 20,000 of my creations".
George Philippou, Larnaca

As a child I was bombed, and as an ex Serviceman, I have been shot at, shelled, bombed some more, and have often been scared. But I never felt the need for tears. But by hell I've shed some tears this week for America and the Free World. To all who have lost loved ones and workmates, my heart goes out to you.
Derek Still, Gladstone Australia

My son lives at 5 minutes from the WTC and we have not heard anything yet

Anneke van den Berg, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Please can anybody that has been on the scene tell me if they have any information of names of the victims that are hospitalised. My son lives at 5 minutes from the WTC and we have not heard anything yet. We are making any attempt possible to get information, therefore our call to you. His name is Peter Verweij, he's 21, short dark hair, slim posture. We have seen all the horrible images on TV, everybody is in shock. Please help me...
Anneke van den Berg, Tilburg, The Netherlands e-mail: info§

Since Tuesday my thoughts and my heart have been with the American people. I know how they feel, not knowing what has happened to their family members and friends. My family lived through the horror of the war in Kosova. America and American people were there to help us, and today all I can do is pray for them.
Iliriana Gjoni, Prishtine, Kosova

. It is beyond sadness and grief what people must be feeling

Laura, Jersey, Channel Islands
There is nothing that we can say or do which can change the events of Tuesday. We can only speak reassuring words, and empathise with others. We are all in this together, every nation, every religion, every person. It is beyond sadness and grief what people must be feeling, fear and complete anger would be the most appropriate words. My heart truly goes out to not just the Americans, but to everyone who feels torn apart by this.
Laura, Jersey, Channel Islands

It does this cynic's heart a world of good to read this page and see the outpouring of sympathy/empathy for the Tragedy that's befallen NYC and America. I understand there's a fair amount of anti-American sentiment in the world - we can be an arrogant bunch, sometimes - but my eyes are honestly filling with tears as I write this, after reading of the emotional solidarity of the people in Europe and the world. In a world that can at times be so horrible and insane, it's good to know that there are decent folks out there who care, and "we" are not completely alone. Take care of yourself and each other. Thank you all!
Mark, New York City, USA

I'm sending my deepest condolences to those who had been hurt and hadn't found their loved ones

Annette, Russia, Moscow
A terrible nightmare... I'm completely shocked. I understand the feelings of those who had lost their relatives and parents, my heart and soul are bleeding. But try to be strong, because all the world is crying for your great trouble. We are with you. I'm sending my deepest condolences to those who had been hurt and hadn't found their loved ones.
Annette, Russia, Moscow

I never thought it possible to have so many different feelings at one time, and I can't express them enough. I am so sad for the people who were killed, or hurt, and for their families and friends. I am enraged that anyone could do this, but scared of what will happen next. My thoughts are with the injured, the families and friends of anyone who has been killed, and also with the rescue services, relief workers, and anyone who is helping - hope they have continuous strength and courage.
Sarah, Newcastle, England

I'm writing from Spain to say that I feel completely sorry about what happened and that I hope that the consequences of this terrorist act don't bring more violent attacks. People should think carefully about what to do and not use violence or anger against innocent people. (Yesterday lots of shops and houses of Muslims in Madrid were burnt, they don't have to be blamed. I only hope that people stop behaving so foolishly.)
Maria, Madrid Spain

We think of you every day

Hubert, Rennes, France
It was great when all European respected 3 minutes silence today. At work we all went down outside to the car park and stayed in silence nearby a French flag "en berne". I am sad since Tuesday attacks. These 3 minutes silence showed solidarity in all the continent towards our fellow Americans. All my thoughts go to the American people especially to the New Yorkers (I have visited your town and the towers) and those who have victims among their friends and families. We think of you every day.
Hubert, Rennes, France

I was staying in New York in June of this year with good friends who live in Brooklyn. One of them teaches children in Brooklyn. She told me in an e-mail yesterday that it is quite possible at least two of the children she teaches have lost their parents. I cannot get this out of my mind, I have children and the thought of them being orphaned is unbelievably painful. Since Tuesday I have been receiving emails from friends who live in New York all heartbroken at what has happened, all sincerely wishing that governments in the West will think very carefully about their response to these events. My friends are hurting and afraid at the same time.
Jill Fenton, Bromley, Kent, UK

I have never been to New York or Washington, nor do I have any friends or family members living in either area. However, words cannot begin to express the sickening sadness, anger, fear, and helplessness I felt witnessing the horrific events of this past Tuesday on TV.

Now, my co-workers and I spend much of our time at work making pins with colored ribbons and selling them to raise money for the relief effort and no one, not even our boss, seems to mind. We've also baked brownies etc, and sold those to raise money. This has been therapeutic in a small way - at least we've done something.

Before Tuesday, I would come home in the evening and work on some craft project, do some cleaning, or catch some re-runs of my favorite sitcoms. Now, I find myself tuning in to CNN, MSNBC, the BBC coverage on the Discovery Channel, or my local news to try and find out the latest details, and I usually end up crying.

People all around the world have reacted with a tremendous show of support and human compassion

S Whitfield, Tarboro, USA
One good thing has come from this tragedy though; people all around the world have reacted with a tremendous show of support and human compassion. One thing I never expected was the Star Spangled Banner being played during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. I cannot express what such a tremendous gesture means to us.

To the British, Italian, German, Scottish, Russian, and all other people in the world who have lit a candle, shed a tear, said a prayer, or wished there was something they could do to help - thank you! Such strong support will not be forgotten!
S.Whitfield, Tarboro, USA

I don't think that I am alone when I say that I have been in shock and on the verge of tears since Tuesday. When I saw that plane ramming into the WTC for the first time, I expected a director to yell "cut!" Part of me still does.

I did have a brief moment of panic because I have a friend who works for United as a Flight Attendant. She is currently on holiday, so she is okay. I'm very relieved that no one will have to explain to her little girl what happened to her mom. Lots of other little girls won't be so lucky.

I have been very moved by the outpouring of support from the world. I am so used to hearing how hated we are the world over (often with good reason), that I was taken aback. I am aware and appalled of the various dastardly ways that the USA throws its weight around in other lands. But any sympathy that these perpetrators might have engendered among the US populace went down with the WTC on Tuesday.

I'd also like to extend a big thank you to the Queen for the playing of the National Anthem during the Changing of the Guard. It was a small gesture, but it means more to me than you know. Also, a big hug and thank you to the people of Britain. I cried when I saw the photo of the card that read "To all the New York Yanks, from all your Cockney friends," even though I'm only a Minneapolis Yank. So thank you, whoever you are. I haven't been to London in 15 years, but if I'm ever there again, I'll buy you a beer.
Maat, Minneapolis, USA

I am Irish, I lived in London for many years and in New York for a few years. Now I live in Florida. All my friends are in NY, what I don't understand is why people keep killing other people. Everywhere I have lived I have been in fear of this kind of horrible thing happening. When I lived in London sometimes I was afraid to say I was Irish because of the things that happened. Now I am scared for all my friends in NY - American, Irish, English, I just wish it would all stop.

This affects everyone in the world - everyone knows someone in the USA

Catherine, Florida, USA
Why is it always the innocent that die? This affects everyone in the world - everyone knows someone in the USA. I spent all day Tuesday on the phone to NY trying to contact my friends, my family called me all day to find about my friends. Myself and my husband both worked down in the financial district when we lived in NY, we could have been there. All I can do now is pray for everyone, the people who died, who were injured, the rescue workers and the people left behind. God Bless
Catherine, Florida, USA

We as Indians have been facing terrorism for a long time. What we have watched on TV is horryfying. I also have so many cousins in the USA, I can only hope all are fine as some are not contacting us. How can anybody be immune to such an horryfying act of barbarism? All my sympathies are with those who have lost their loved ones.
Dr Rita Sareen, Allahabad, India

In every situation there has been one country in the world who we feel an extreme kinship with, and that is Britain. I can trace my ancestry back to your country, and I love Britain like my own country. Steadfast, you have been our friends through many a hardship, and we have been your friends.

Right now, I not only cry for the people from this country who lost their lives in something senseless, but I cry for those from all over the world, of all races, creeds, and nationalities that also lost their lives in this senseless act. And when I heard of over 200 UK victims of this, I was hurt even more, not only were we attacked, our friends were attacked. I want to express my heartfelt condolences for all of those across the sea who have lost their loved ones as well, because wherever you are, the pain is equal, and although the focus is on us over here, yes, we did lose, Britain lost, and many people from all around the world lost. Humanity lost.

It touched me deeply when our national anthem was played at the changing of the guard, more than perhaps many other things. Thank you for the show of friendship and honor, and thank you for always being our friend.
David Miller, Neenah, USA

Four days after this horrible event I am still numb. Even though I did not know anyone directly victimized in the attack, I feel as though I have lost many friends. My only hope is that the person who is responsible be brought to justice, if not by the world, then by God. Like so many I am left with so many questions that may never be answered. I am comforted by the the thought that so many people outside the USA are praying for us. Please continue to do so, we need all of the prayers and support we can get. May all of this be over soon and may we one day live in global peace.
Kelly, Sparta, Tennessee, USA

We're 110 miles southwest of New York City, but Philadelphia has been on high alert since Tuesday. My husband and I felt the need to get out of the city's center, as did thousands of others, when they began to evacuate skyscrapers and close down "potential targets."

Unfortunately for us, we felt no safer going home as our neighbourhood contains some of the city's, if not the country's, most beloved historical landmarks. In our minds, we knew the risk was small, but when you see men with machine guns on the tops of buildings, your gut tells you to "get the hell out of town."

We did, going to a friend's house near the edge of the city for the tense afternoon hours. Phone lines were jammed, even here, and cell phones were next to useless. We felt guilty trying to use them at all, though, knowing that the networks were crowded with concerned families and friends of ground zero victims.

Our hospitals are on standby for casualties we fear may never come

S. A., Philadelphia, USA
I'm not sure where you were when you heard, or if you saw the events unfolding, but I was at work like many. My colleagues and I stood in disbelief. I think we're all still in disbelief, really. I think we will be for a long time.

I wanted to cry, when I sat on my friend's sofa watching the live feeds. But I couldn't. My mind was, and is, swimming in the sights and sounds. I know I am angry, I know I am scared, but I know that I am not feeling what I am going to feel when all of this sinks in. And that scares me.

Things are slowly returning to "normal" here. But no one is pretending to call it normal. We all look at each other knowingly. We all speak in slightly lowered tones. People are kinder to one another, for the most part. People are desperate to be involved somehow. Giving blood, donating money, whatever they can do not to feel so helpless. But we still do.

Our hospitals are on standby for casualties we fear may never come. The news people say that the cries for help from the rubble are becoming more and more infrequent.

Companies that had large numbers of employees in the towers are mostly reporting that many have been accounted for and were evacuated safely. Many are also saying that they've had no word at all. We're still waiting to hear from one friend.

My cousin and her husband work at the Pentagon. She went into labour Tuesday morning and didn't go into work. Her husband didn't know yet and he thought that she was in the area that was hit, because her office is there. Was there. He finally got a call that she was at the hospital in labour. At first they would not let him leave, because he is military security, but then they did when they learned what'd happened.

There are a lot of stories of bravery and courage, but mostly of loss. For every hopeful bit of news we hear, there's more than enough to remind us of the loss of life. It will truly be unbearable for all of us when we realize the full scale. I know I'll cry then.
S. A., Philadelphia, PA, USA

I already fear for my life - not only from the terrorists, but also from the American's who cannot distinguish my Indian background.

Over the past 2 days, I have been abused at, and been subjected to various incidents of road rage. It's ironic because my country faces the same problems of terrorism.

I think the best thing to do is follow Mayor Rudy Giuliani's lead and have every politician (especially Bush) strongly condemn such actions against ANY person from South and Middle Asia.
Arik De, Washington, D.C.

This day shall be a day that stands out like no other, and all that is mighty shall weep like a mother, as life on this planet chokes to learn, the darkest of souls still twist and turn; it's not of an era that has passed us by there's life out there, wanting humanity to die

No matter the distance, the creed or relation, when they stand trial, it's to a world, not a nation, for the pain that is flowing in one city alone, is felt the world-over, in every heart, every home.

Sheer terror engulfs this world so rotten, such tragedies are all, but never forgotten; be at once brought to justice those to blame and beg for forgiveness for causing such pain; no matter their lives, it's not worth their taking, it's not our right, despite hearts that are breaking

And shall our spirits rise, whilst we stand in fear, unable to fight back a single tear, as memories flash to a place we love most, and remember the greatness of our host, for Mother Nature is might over all, and those defiant, will surely fall.
Moira Marsh, London, England

Thank you Queen Elizabeth, thank you! The simple gesture of your orchestra playing the US national anthem touched Americans in ways you cannot imagine. The British are true friends indeed.
Robert, Minnesota

I work in Chicago's financial district across the street from what is considered to be the second-tallest building in the world. Many of my colleagues know of friends who worked at the World Trade Center. As I headed into work this morning, I walked passed thousands of people - fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, partners, and friends. Beautiful people representing all nationalities. The same kinds of people whose innocent lives were snuffed out on Tuesday. My prayer today is that God spared them the pain of what must have been horrible deaths. Please, God, help their families cope with this tremendous burden.
Martin, Chicago, Illinois

My heart is heavy with sadness at the loss of so many innocent lives in such tragic and horrific circumstances. The images, sound and now personal voices will stay with me all my life. My heartfelt sympathy to all those touched by this mindless tragedy.
Jayne Edwards, Plymouth, UK

Simple words cannot describe how deeply and sincerely appreciative Americans are for the outpouring of support from the United Kingdom. As one who has had the pleasure to study and work closely with British citizens across the globe, I must say that the playing of the U.S. National Anthem at Buckingham Palace brought tears to my eyes. This is not simply an American loss, but a crime foisted on all of humanity. From the bottom of our sorrowful hearts, thank you for your love and support.
Mike, Nashville, USA

I want the British people to know how comforting and moving it was to see and hear the Coldstream Guards play the "Star Spangled Banner". The Queen's choice to do that has been tremendously powerful in the lives of those here who have seen it. It means everything to us here that we have your support. I am keenly aware that there were more than Americans that died at the WTC.... I am so sorry for the losses of the British people as well as the many losses to numerous other countries.
Tracey , Atlanta, Georgia

I cannot begin to express the impact that this has had on my feelings

Gillian Richardson, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
We have just observed the three minutes silence. Our building which houses various voluntary organisations stood together. We stood together. It seems such a small thing to do, and we all cried. I cannot comment on the political arena of this situation nor, would I want to be an "expert" on what happens next. I am just an ordinary person doing an ordinary job. Like all those people in the WTC on Tuesday.

I cannot begin to express the impact that this has had on my feelings. There is nothing I can relate this to. All I know is that today my building stood together and cried in sympathy and pain for ordinary people - just like us - that we have never met in a place that perhaps we have only visited. But we stood together. Isn't that the way it should be?
Gillian Richardson, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

I went to St Paul's Cathedral today, just to be near the focus point of British grief

Nainna Leader, London, UK
I feel as though my heart is breaking. I went to St Paul's Cathedral today, just to be near the focus point of British grief and to come together with people feeling the same emotions. I couldn't get in, but the entire street outside was brimming with people - office workers, visitors, police - all just sharing in the sorrow and taking strength from the solidarity on show. As the strains of "Glory Glory Hallelulejah" came towards us from the Cathedral, a few began to cry.

I just feel so powerless and so desperately sorry for what has happened. As the National Anthem was sung, and the hundreds of people on the street began to hum, I felt deep inside me that as long as so many people can share such grief, and as long as true human kindness continues to exist in ways that have been shown since this devastating atrocity, maybe - just maybe - there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel.

May God bless all who have lost loved ones, and you are all in my thoughts always.
Nainna Leader, London, UK

I am so comforted, as an American to read the truly heart-felt words from our friends in the UK and elsewhere. My son was in New York City at the time of the terrorist attack and we had some harrowing hours waiting to hear from him. As a medical student at New York University, he was called in to aid in washing out eyes, giving oxygen, etc.. to the worn out emergency workers at ground zero. He says it is beyond comprehension. My son and our world will never be the same.
Susan Gillespie, Durham,CT USA

My initial shock and disbelief gave way to anger and fear. However, now I just feel impotent. Impotent because I can't do more to help, impotent because I couldn't and can't prevent this kind of senseless tragedy but, most of all, impotent because I live in a world in which some people believe they have the right and the duty to commit these kind of terrible, wicked acts. I think the Universal Declaration on Human Rights say it better than I ever could: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person".
Sean, Brussels, Belgium

The three-minute silence was observed by the world as a desire to unite against terrorism and out of compassion for those who suffered and their families. What is important now is that the United States does not act without the consensus of the rest of the world and without clear evidence against those responsible for the atrocities. The United States must be seen to listen to the rest of the world. Only together can we defeat terrorism on a worldwide scale.
Adrian Skelton, London, England

To my loving American, If not today or tomorrow, America will rise again with great power and strength. I pray for all those who gave their lives for America, their souls will be blessed by God, the living God. Mr Bush must face the problem with courage and hit back the brutal victims so that they will learn a lesson that humanity have a meaning for leaving a life. It is not a toy to just destroy and make it again, that power belongs to God, no Muslim or a Hindu or a Christian has the right to take a human life. I hope this bit of my words will have some change to all humans in this world. I once again pray to please bless the people who laid their life on this terrorism. By this I am ending my words here....
Manoj, Bangalore / India

What is needed is a little perspective. My immediate thoughts (and I do sympathise with families of lost ones) were why the hell would someone want to do this and actually do it? So... I looked into some detail at some of the reasons. I was, to say the least, horrified at some of the foreign policy that USA and indeed UK and EU governments have adopted towards other nations. Let us all start to examine these issues in more depth and realise that we are not the global rulers and dictators we (and typically multi-national businesses) like to think we are.
Adrian Lane, Sheffield, UK

The events in America have rocked me to my very core. My heart goes out everyone affected by this tragedy and I hope that this at least changes peoples lives and way of thinking for the better - we owe that to the victims. I am so sorry for the pain and suffering of all involved.
Louise Sidey, Newcastle upon Tyne

In his speech to the House of Commons, Mr Blair said "Those that harbour and help them have a choice - either to cease their protection of our enemies or be treated as an enemy themselves." Is he going to apply this principle to his own Government, who have given a share of the Government of the United Kingdom to terrorists who still refuse to surrender their weapons?
Tony Hudge, Hong Kong, China

The Passengers who fought back to stop the fourth jet from hitting any ground targets should awarded the highest honour. Their bravery and self-sacrifice is an example to us all. My most heartfelt feelings go out to the city of New York and the American people. When I saw the second plane hit WTC I was in a busy bar having a working lunch and silence descended on the bar. People sat in shock too shocked to eat or drink anything.
Paul, London

Although it is tempting to begin finding fault with whomever we perceive to have been negligent, it is imperative that the primary fault remains with the terrorists. The fundamental issue, to me, seems to be the prevalence of small, dangerous militant groups throughout the world who receive funding from wealthy nations or citizens of wealthy nations. We of the free world have resolved to create a safe and prosperous environment for *every* individual. For the most part, the free world is comprised of people who are relatively similar. I feel a tremendous kinship with all Europeans who have offered their sympathies from across an ocean. We are united by our views on the human spirit and the rights of individuals. Let our response to this tragedy be framed around these ideals. Thank you.
Michael, New York, USA

As a Christian I fear for the safety of my Muslim friends. Most people will understand that this is the most un-Islamic act ever committed by people calling themselves Islamises (if Al Queda are responsible) but a minority may unleash their anger on innocent Muslims around the world - even though all true followers of the religion are equally outraged by this awful act of Godlessness.
Terry Johnson, Oxford, UK

Still in shock - it's like living in some ghastly alternative reality and it still hasn't quite sunk in. Was quite outraged by the comments of Tam Dalyell and Tony Benn, though. Don't use severe force indeed?! I'd like to ask the Right Honourable gentlemen what we are supposed to do? Wring our hands and look earnest? Pat the terrorists on the head and tell them not to do it again and slip them some foreign aid? The horrible thing that I now realise is that if a nuclear response was to occur then I'm sad to say that I probably wouldn't shed any tears....and it worries me that it's come to this.
Mark, London, UK

As an Israeli and long-term resident of the UK, I understand the anger and desire for revenge after such an attack but, as we have seen in the Middle East over the past year, all this brings is more death and despair. I am concerned about the repercussions of this on the conflict in Israel and what it will mean for the future of the state and its people, as well as the Palestinians if they are to come under attack from the US. The US must pinpoint the identity of the terrorists before they strike, or they will sink to the terrorists' own level. We cannot allow more innocent civilians to suffer.
Ruthi Margulis, London, UK

I went to the American Embassy today to sign the book of condolence and to lay flowers. It was very emotional and distressing but I felt I just had to do something to pay my deepest respects. Tribute must also be paid to the tremendous courage and bravery of all the emergency services, their efforts have been truly incredible and tireless. I don't really know what else to say, it's just too much to bear.
Caroline Baldwin, London, England

These fools have awakened the civilized nations of our global village. We are now all Israelis in a sense. This will not be a traditional war with a visible enemy, territorial objective, or even with a recognizable point at which we can say it is concluded. I pray that we all are prepared to accept this new reality.
Glenn, USA

Only one sentence comes to mind, used during Desert Storm. I find it very appropriate, written underneath the stars and stripes "These colours don't run". We will recover from this and I am sure it will make our relationship with our allies stronger. Pray God is listening.
Paul Fitzer, Washington DC

Unfortunately, thousands of innocent people and families are paying now with their lives and happiness the bill of the sometimes scandalous and treachery foreign policy that the United States have led during so many years, especially in the Far and Middle East. Not only are the terrorists guilty and have to be punished, but also some American politicians are guilty, and I hope these politicians finally realise the consequences of their acts in order to improve the future. Nobody is perfect. Of course the terrorist act in itself is an absolute disgrace, but it should also be considered as a result of something, not as an isolated fact.
Bennou, Brussels, Belgium

I am very scared because you don't know what's going to happen next and we as a country have to put this to an end. I don't sleep at nights and I am really scared to fly again..........
Donna Watson, Boston, MA

Heartfelt condolences to all of the families and friends involved. Respect and admiration to all of the emergency services who have and will continue to risk themselves for the good of others. Regardless of what else happens during his term of office the next few weeks will determine how history remembers George Bush Jnr. Will he be the most restrained President in history or will he be the President that leads the civilised world into WW3? I for one am feeling rather nervous.
J, Milton Keynes, UK

I cannot begin to imagine the grief our American cousins are feeling. I lost no-one in this disaster but cannot stop the tears. The children left without their parents, the mothers without their sons and daughters. We go daily to work hopefully, not to our deaths. My thoughts are with you all now and I will say a little prayer at 11am Friday. But, there are many unanswered questions... why no fire alarms ringing? Why such a senseless waste of life? Why build a tall structure that clearly takes in the region of 3 hrs to evacuate? The authorities must look to the answers ..........
Helena, London UK

I'm numb right now. My dad works in WTC2 on the 96th floor and he's missing. I don't know what to feel. I just want to know if he's ok.
Robert Halligan, Coventry UK

I cry and I weep and I mourn as if this tragedy happened to my own family and friends

Katherine Berquin, Brussels, Belgium
I have never been to the U.S., I don't know any Americans and yet I cry and I weep and I mourn as if this tragedy happened to my own family and friends. I feel comfort in reading these comments. It is important to stick together now and not to judge and attack in anger without thinking. I hope the American Government will do so too and eventually get to peace instead of war.
Katherine Berquin, Brussels, Belgium

If the reports of the passenger fight on UA93 are correct and they overcame the hi-jackers or caused the plane to crash, those people were real heroes - potentially saving hundreds or thousands of lives at the intended target.
Craig London, England

At 4am Tuesday morning my phone rang - a friend called to tell me of the attack. I sat there watching BBC. I am so disturbed that I couldn't work. My heart goes out to all the people in America. Pls God give them strength to cope with the loss. God Bless You All.
Geeta Bridgeman, based in Fiji

Your kindness and caring has often brought tears to my eyes

Karla Jensen, Austin, TX USA
I was extremely fortunate that I had no family at either the Pentagon or the WTC but my heart goes out to all people (American, European , Middle Eastern and any nation) who have lost someone or who themselves were injured. I just want to tell all the people of the world who've shown their sympathy and support to the US how wonderful I think you all are. Your kindness and caring has often brought tears to my eyes.

I would also like to say to the Muslim and Islam people who have shown their support and sympathy that I personally and sincerely apologise to you for the actions of my countrymen who have decided to blame innocents for the actions of these terrorists. It is wrong and a great many Americans don't support that. To me anyone who attacks or terrorises any Muslim or Islamic person simply because of what happened is no better than the people who carried out the attacks in New York and Washington. Again I apologise to the innocents who are being caught in the backlash. Just know that when and if you encounter people who blame you for what happened, there is at least one person in America who stands by you. Thanks so much.
Karla Jensen, Austin, TX USA

A real sense of utter disbelief from myself and all my family at the sight of commercial airliners with people on board being used as missiles to attack defenceless people going about their jobs. The news flow of the families affected by this horrible event brought tears to my eyes and my family. A sad, sad day for humanity.
Gurinder Punn, Birmingham, UK

Like everyone with any humanitarian feelings, I was stunned by the sheer magnitude of Tuesday's day of terror but for me it was the total realisation that what had happened could never be undone... the World had changed, now and forever.
Jacqui Stephens, Newbury/United Kingdom

I cannot get that image of the plane vanishing into the World Trade Centre out of my mind. It is there as soon as I wake. I don't think I will ever forget it.
Mick Mooney, Telford,England

I just wish to praise the Canadian people who have proved that kindness and love overpowers cruelty and hate!!

Claire Louise Gibbon, Central Scotland
My family and I were on the American Trans Air flight from Manchester to Florida. We made our scheduled stop in Gander, Newfoundland at lunchtime on Tuesday. There were about 8 planes in front of us waiting to land which we thought was strange as it is such a tiny airport! When we landed at around 4pm (GMT) the pilot said that he was going to make the hardest announcement he has ever had to make. We naively thought that he was joking the bad news was that we would not get out to stretch our legs. He told us sketchy details about the news and asked for calm. We were fortunate in that he was getting his information from BBC news! Our flight is now located in St Paul's High School in Gander. There are beds laid out everywhere - it reminds me of the scenes from a WW2 film. We have been inundated with local support. I just wish to praise the Canadian people who have proved that kindness and love overpowers cruelty and hate!! Thank you also to the BBC website which is keeping everyone here up to date.
Claire Louise Gibbon (nee Fulton), Central Scotland

I was at work in the UK and first heard of these terrible events via the BBC website, I called my wife, she watched the events unfold on TV. My four-year-old daughter also watched the coverage and asked why her normal children's TV programme was not on. My wife told her that it was because something very wicked had happened. My daughter asked what that meant and she told her that it meant a lot of children in the US didn't have a mummy or daddy anymore. My daughter asked why. My wife didn't have an answer - neither do I.
Paul Stringer, Sheffield, England

My heart goes out to everyone. There will not be one person in the world who is not affected by this terrible act of terrorism. I myself am awaiting news from friends working for Morgan Stanley. I'm praying daily for their safe return. Please be safe. daily.
Catherine, Hampshire, UK

I know I'll be praying for the City of New York again tonight

Andy Weir, London, England
Shocked, disgusted, angry... there simply aren't enough words to describe how I'm feeling. Perhaps the worst part of it is that I just can't understand it, it's too difficult to comprehend. I was physically sick when I watched the pictures on TV, such was my shock. And I did something I haven't done in a long time - I prayed to God. Perhaps in such times, when our frail human minds struggle to cope with tragedies of this magnitude, we seek comfort elsewhere. I know I'll be praying for the City of New York again tonight.
Andy Weir, London, England

To all the people who have lost family or friends I would like to express my feelings of sympathy. I hope that a small number of fanatics will not be able to drive a wedge between the people of the world. Regardless of our religions we should all be able to live together peacefully! We have more in common than we are different. And why can we not respect our differences? Let's all make that effort!
Michiel Mannaerts, Rotterdam, Netherlands

The above has not affected me in the way of knowing people lost in the devastation but all I can imagine is what everyone is going through. There really are some wicked people in this world. My sincere heart really does go out to everyone in America. I feel so sad, I am sure whatever England can do to help we will. Do not give up hope ever, these people will get caught and punished. I am thinking of you all.
Helen Bigley, Reading, England

Numb, absolute horror, I can't stop crying

Rebecca, Harrogate, UK
Numb, absolute horror, I can't stop crying. What bothers me is that no one else around me seems to have been slightly affected by this horrendous event or its implications other than to worry that they might lose their jobs in the imminent recession. What put it all in perspective for me was watching the survivors of the plane crashes hanging out of the windows, thinking they'd be OK, that surely someone could pull them out of the buildings ... then watching the offices collapse and knowing that those people suffered horrific injuries and terror before they died. I'm crying as I write this. How could ANYONE do this to innocent people???
Rebecca, Harrogate, UK

What type of society do we live in that allowed such a horrific crime to be committed. It is frightening to think what the future holds not just for us but for future generations. Is there going to be a future?
Elaine Brear, UnUnited Kingdom

As a Scot living far from New York and Washington, I find it hard to comprehend why I personally feel so badly and emotionally affected by Tuesday's events. I have visited the States many times and have always found the American people to be genuinely warm and friendly and in no way did they deserve any of this appalling suffering. I am married and have two young children and I pray for their sakes that the U.S. - and the rest of the world - takes the right course of action to achieve justice against those responsible and that a lasting solution can be found so that people of all religions can live in harmony.
Blane McConnell, Falkirk, Scotland

Terrible-Shocking- Disbelief-
Kirsten, Germany

A part of me still expects to wake up and find it was all a dream

John B, London, UK
After several attempts I managed to get a connection to my brother in NY and confirmed he was OK. I sat watching the 24-hour news in total stunned disbelief. Only a year ago I stood at the foot of the Twin Towers and admired their beauty - a part of me still expects to wake up and find it was all a dream. I sincerely hope Muslims in general are not ostracised for this atrocity as it is clearly only a relatively small group of people who have perpetrated it. Working in the City myself I find myself more aware of the vulnerability of our infrastructure. My heart goes out to those who are still waiting for news from their loved ones, and especially to those who will ultimately hear the worst.
John B, London, UK

Once more all the terrorists have proved is that their cause is not just. No cause can be worth such devastation. My heart goes out to all the families of those that died. My loathing goes out to all those that were a part of this.
Adam Jenkins, London, UK

I must send out my condolences to those who have been hurt and the loved ones of those who have been lost. These events have been an attack on humanity and have shaken the whole world. I am shaken by the events that have occurred in the past few days! I myself am a Muslim, and I fear that the world will strike out at Muslims. Although this attack may have been by Islamic extremists, it was not by each and every Muslim person alive today. Therefore, lashing out at a whole religion because of one group will only make matters worse. However, I do agree that these terrorists must be brought to justice... but it must be done in a reasonable and respectable manner.

I must once again send out my condolences to those who have been affected by this attack. It is a tragic loss and a disgrace to the whole of the human race.
Talha, Birmingham, UK

I came to BBC Online to see how the world was reacting to what has happened so close to my own home. As a former New Yorker I am comforted by the sentiments I have read here online and feel secure that the world is behind us.
Donna, Montague, New Jersey

I loved the city, I proposed to my wife there

Joerg Grimm, Amsterdam
I am British living 1 hour away from this terrible tragedy. We have friends and neighbours who worked in the buildings, we have all taken our relatives there sightseeing and you cannot imagine how we feel these days. I remember the IRA bombings well and left to get away from the unease of never knowing if you will be next. Now it is here and Americans will never look at life so innocently again, they are not a people who will ever forget this and with the help and support of our European brothers and sisters, we will defeat this evil one day.
Jacquie Homscheid, USA

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