Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

 You are in: Talking Point
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Monday, 17 December, 2001, 14:40 GMT
US under attack: Your reactions
Thousands are feared dead after a series of devastating attacks targeting the USA's financial and military centres in New York and Washington.

Send us your reactions to these unprecedented attacks.

Click here to read eyewitness reports

Click here to read your comments made one week after the attacks

For the first time in my life I am afraid

Beth, Corning, NY USA
I live in upstate New York about 4.5 - 5 hours from NY City and every time a plane flies by or I am out in my yard I look into the sky and watch its path. I live in a rural area and still think is it going to land here. I wonder constantly...Will I ever have children and what is going to happen next.

I have always felt bad for the people in the other countries like Bosnia, Ireland and those who experience some kind of terror every day. I now know somewhat how they feel and it scares me. I am 32 years old and since this attack have made plans with family with friends and made myself available for anything. I don't want to die without experiencing all that life could give me. Today the company I work for announced another layoff which could in turn affect me. Whoever has done this I hope that you are happy because for the first time in my life I am afraid.

I will never forget that this was done to me but I will forgive because I will not die hating any one or any thing and will not let them run my life.
Beth, Corning, NY USA

The perpetrators of this horrendous atrocity apparently claim to have done it for Muslims and Islam. Islam prohibits the killing of non-combatants, children and women and those who have taken shelter in places of worship even during a war. This horrible action cannot be justified at all. Our tears are with the unfortunate victims of this calamity and their relatives
(Dr) Muhammad Siddique, Sri Lanka

If only a fraction of the compassion shown for America as the recipient of terrorism would have been extended to those who were exposed to terrorism in other parts of the world during the past ten years, then, maybe, we would not have to lament now. Let me cite a sensible comment to the event: "Whether or not it was an attack on civilisation will be determined by our response".
Juergen Dudek, Australia

I think the US and the whole 'civilised world' need to consider where the anger behind these attacks comes from

Ingibjorg, Iceland
What happened last week in New York and Washington was horrible, beyond words, and my heart goes out to the victims and their families. But I do think that the US and the whole 'civilised world' need to consider where the anger behind these attacks comes from, and have a close look at the consequences of their own foreign policies during the 20th century. A part of the reason must lie in US policy in the Middle East, where they have manipulated their power to the best of their own economical and political advantage, and shown little regard for the lives and well being of ordinary citizens. Western superpower games must end, and that will be one way to tackle the threat of extremist terrorism.

Do not let the lives of all these people be wasted; moreover, do not let anger control your actions (and thereby victimise even more innocent people), but react in a controlled, sensible manner.
Ingibjorg, Iceland

I resent and am disappointed by the finger pointing as to why this tragedy happened. As a New Yorker, I find comments about America's foreign policy to be ill-timed and insensitive. The individuals who planned and executed this attack were religious fanatics full of hatred in their hearts. They point to the liberal atmosphere of America as a corrupting force. Bottom line - Please spare us the blame right now - the feelings are still raw.
Robyn, NYC, USA

I am a US citizen I have lived abroad as a volunteer physician for the last ten years. In that time I have listened to people's complaints and differences with the Americans. Years ago I realized that the world had changed and that eventually the US would have to deal with very serious terrorist attacks. After two sleepless nights after the attack, I started my day delivering a new baby. During the delivery I thought of how important this birth was for my psyche - one, new life for this world... And I pray that our World leadership, while deciding the fate of our beautiful world think soundly and clearly.
Dr. Christopher, Northern India

Our prayer is that our President and leaders will make wise, precise decisions

Sharon Bruner, USA
Even though we live in the heartland of America (Oklahoma), we were touched by the devastation that occurred Tues. morning, Sept. 11. My husband works for American Airlines and will definitely be affected by upcoming layoffs. Also, we know many pilots and did not know their whereabouts on that morning. My nephew also flies for another airlines and we were concerned for him. Our hearts have been pierced by the many stories we are seeing and hearing in the media each day. Our children and grandchildren have been affected by this situation. Our four-year-old grandson is consumed with wearing and carrying red, white and blue. Our son-in-law is seeking to join the US Marshall group.

So, whether you live in New York, Washington, or Oklahoma or anywhere in the world for that matter, we have all been affected by the tragic events to our country on Tues. morning, Sept. 11. Our prayer is that our President and leaders will make wise, precise decisions that will not only affect our nation but nations around the world.
Sharon Bruner, USA

This bombing bring back my childhood memory when US Air Force did carpet bombing in South East Asia. The taste of pain and suffering is so great that only the person who experience the real thing by himself can understand. Now the same bitter taste and despair come back again. I would say it should be a wake up call for Bush and the American people - instead of go out raining the terror all over the world again, put your foot in someone else's shoes for a change and pray hard for peace. Mr Bush should change his ideology and policy as Mr Clinton did after Oklahoma.
Sompone, Kent,WA, USA

I am very disappointed with the lack of sophistication of the leadership of the USA. Is threatening to attack a poverty-stricken country going to solve anything? Why is it unreasonable that the Talibans ask for proof before extraditing ben Laden? Would the USA extradite an IRA terrorist to England just based on the British Government making a demand??

In the past it has been very difficult bringing these terrorists back to justice as the USA has financed and protected them. Bush's shoot-from-the-hip "dead or alive" rhetoric is solving nothing and is just creating more enemies. What's he going to do when he has pressured Pakistan into a civil war? Get a grip man and start thinking!
Mark Holmes, United States

Please, don't revenge. Only love can win

Vinko Puhek, Mostar, Bosnia Hercegovina
After the war in Bosnia I could hear only the words: "You have to forgive and live together". My pain was huge, I lost 2 family members and many friends. The people who convinced me mostly were Americans and they persuaded me to be more tolerant and try not to revenge and not to turn with violence on violence.

Now, I am sad and I may say terrified of what I saw on TV. What scared me most is the anger and calls to revenge from Americans. I can understand them, but this time I will try to open their eyes as they did for me the same. Please, don't revenge. Only love can win. I am praying for you all. God bless America
Vinko Puhek, Mostar, Bosnia Hercegovina

It is so hard to understand why people would want to do this to our nation. It is even harder to understand why we would feel the need to retaliate by killing many other innocent people. We need to find just the people that are responsible, not a whole group or religion that includes innocent people.
Kristen W, United States

As a teacher, I am aware of how the children in this country are feeling

Jane Dicker, UK
As a teacher, I am aware of how the children in this country are feeling. As adults, we can at least begin to comprehend the situation to some extent but having spoken to my children it is clear that they are picking up snapshots of information. Parents must talk to their children about this in order to clear up any queries/fears. I know that we may not have all the answers but it is clear from my experience that their idea of war is one that I, as an adult, hope will not come true.
Jane Dicker, UK

The fight against terrorists should not result in attacking specific states and their innocent civilians. The attacks of September 11 were done by radicals, not unlike Timothy McVeigh. By invading Afghanistan or other countries, the number of radicals and potential terrorists would most likely increase as a result. Let's look for justice, not war. Let's police the world better, involving the whole global community.
Lydia Swart, US

We are sad and we are with Americans because we are human and we believe in humanity

Syeda Anny, Pakistan
Well, this is the time to support Americans because last week was a big national tragedy for Americans. We are sad and we are with Americans because we are human and we believe in humanity. So there's no doubt in this and also we are a part of this world. So I pray for America and I am against terrorism. May god grant us peace. Amen.
Syeda Anny, Pakistan

I came to America with nothing but hope! America took me in, fed me, clothed me and educated me! America took me in and taught me that the individual is important! America took me in and assured me that I shall not live in fear! America took me and assured me that I can speak freely. America took me in and gave the right to vote for a president! (A right I never dreamed of having!). America took me in and gave me safe streets.

America I am now afraid! America I am now ashamed! America I now live in fear! America I am now depressed! America I am now angry, I have taken so much for granted! America how can I explain this to my children! America my children are yours! America, this is my body and soul: take them and use them for a sword, so that my children will not live in fear and shame!

America my eyes are in tears! America I cry for both of us!
Abderrahman El-Haddi

My heart is with those innocent Americans

Eda, Istanbul, Turkey
I condemn such a terrorist attack. We can understand how Americans feel right now, because we know what terror is - we lost too many our citizens because of terror. My heart is with those innocent Americans.
Eda, Istanbul, Turkey

My deep condolence for the Americans.
Yousef S Kateb, East Jerusalem

I'm shocked and I'm with You with all my heart
Kresimir Abramovic, Helicopter pilot, Croatia Air Force

This was a barbaric attack. This is not the right way to show the vengeance towards a nation or an individual. I convey my heartfelt condolences for the loss of lives in this incident. Life is much more precious.
Abdul Qaiyum Nagoori, Manama, Bahrain

I am nowhere near New York, but I feel better having read these kind words

Edward Hammerbeck, US
I have read about half of the messages posted here, and I have had to stop because of the intense emotion welling up within me. What a blessing the Web is that people from all over the world - Nepal, Philippines, UK, Scandinavia, Africa, and who knows where else - can send out their messages of love and support to the United States. I am nowhere near New York, but I feel better having read these kind words. Let us all hope the words of peace and goodwill expressed here will be communicated to our leaders and that they have the wisdom to act in the interest of peace.
Edward Hammerbeck, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

It is terrorism to the core. No reason on this earth will justify these dastardly acts. The culprits, whoever they are and wherever they are should be apprehended and brought to book. One would not have expected such a security lapse in the United States - how was it that such a large-scale, well-planned and unprecedented terrorist act went undetected?
Raja Chandran, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Dear American brothers and sisters.
Please, do accept our deepest sympathies and let us express our sorrow on Tuesday's dreadful terrorist acts. People of Ukraine feel great anguish and pain. We live in one small world. Never must this happen again! Let God keep you safe.
Olga and Aram, Dnipropetrovsk city, Ukraine

The horror of this tragedy has hit too close to home here for me

Barbara B., Washington DC, US
The horror of this tragedy has hit too close to home here for me in Washington DC. I work 3 blocks from the White House and live 3 miles from the Pentagon. My professor from Georgetown, Leslie Whittington, was a victim in the crash at the Pentagon.

As we try to make our lives normal again, even though there are military police trucks at the street corners, I have been encouraged and moved by the support of many of my friends in the UK. I have received emails with words of love and support, that their thoughts and prayers are with us. To hear these words from people across the world, and to know that we have the support of all of Europe, as shown in their 3 minutes of silence today has encouraged me. I am sure the families and loved ones of the victims appreciate the gestures that have made, such as the playing of the US national anthem at the Change of the Guard. Thank you!
Barbara B., Washington DC, US

Programme pages
Launch console for latest Audio/Video
Programme pages
Launch console for latest Audio/Video

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Talking Point stories