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Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK
A year on from the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the consequences are still being felt around the globe. What are your reflections on the first anniversary?
When a colleague, a friend, or a family member called to tell you about the news did you turn on your television or radio? What was your reaction?
Do you think the terrorists counted on New York City and Washington D.C. being major media centres to ensure that their acts of violence would be broadcast around the world?
Do you think that the global news coverage of 11 September keeps the day alive as an event orchestrated by terrorists or an event that should never be repeated?
Some of the comments below have been sent by viewers of our interactive TV service.
This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
It shouldn't be just America, the entire world should fight against terrorism.
I was in denial over the collapse of the first tower, believing that it had merely been obscured by smoke. When I finally saw both down, I also broke down. Having been there last year and having bantered with the workers I met a few months before the tragedy, I could imagine the horrific repercussions of what happened. We on the other side of the world are still affected by the events of 11 September as well.
I am horrified at the complacency shown towards the fight against terrorism. It is disrespectful to all those that survived and perished.
I am so sad because so many people died for us to understand that only together can we change the world. I remember that when I heard what had happened I cried for all the people that were lost. I hope that what happened made us realise that life is short, and we must love freedom.
We should do anything possible to stop terrorism.
Sept 11, 2001 marked a new understanding of the way mankind is living in a changing world.
My heartfelt sympathies go out to all the families of the victims of this terrible act of terrorism. Here we are one year on and the problems of the world remain. Even though we remember this terrible event we seem to forget that the root cause has not been stopped.
I would just like to say I acknowledge & admire the American people's strength, hope, faith, healing, and courage. I pray for peace, love & unity.
Sergey Bykov, Kazakhstan, Zyryanovsk
I couldn't believe it was happening. It was a horror because the victims were almost all innocent civilians, including the passengers on the airplanes. The thing that had the greatest impact, however, was the immediate outpouring of support from virtually the entire world. I believe it was the first time in history that the world felt like one world, not a collection of countries. God Bless all of you.
The sight of those planes crashing into the World Trade Center towers still makes me feel sick. My thoughts are with those who lost loved-ones in this tragedy. In the hope of securing world peace in the future, always remember 11 September.
Terry, West Yorkshire UK
It was a very sad day in the history of mankind; the murderers in the name of god killed so many innocent people and destroyed the magnificent World Trade Center towers. The whole world is with America to grieve for the dead and to take revenge on the murderers.
12 months on it seems just like yesterday. Every time I see the pictures and hear the survivors and their relatives, I cannot help crying. To think that anyone could even think of such an act, never mind actually carry it out, is beyond belief.
Vicky Speakman, Oxford, UK
Last year I spent the day in a numb silent trance. I looked and looked and looked at those awful images on TV and they still did not register as true, sadly they were. I felt grief, sorrow and a great deal of anger towards these cowards who hide behind one of the worlds great religions.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those who lost loved ones. Hopefully time will help to ease the pain and heartache. Those who died, will never be forgotten, as they are very special people. Terrorism will never win as good triumphs over evil.
I love America and I am against Terrorism committed by any one. I give assurance to American that God is blessing America always.
On September 11 I was in Washington DC as part of a trip out there to see my brother. In the last 365 days I have come to appreciate my own mortality much more, I hope that I continue to do so.
I did not personally know anyone in either of the towers but from the news coverage I have come to feel a personal and very real feeling of grief for these people. It is especially hard now after all the additional stuff has come out about how some people chose to stay and help those who were injured. When the buildings collapsed it was heart breaking to realise that people are dying, and for what, all they did was go to work to earn money to support their families.
Anon, Manchester, England
The acts of murder on 11 September are still too terrible to comprehend for me. "Senseless" is the only word I can find to describe them. I hope my country can see that the best way to defend ourselves from future attacks like this is to show the world that we still adhere to the ideals our country was founded on. Attacking and killing more people in the name of defending freedom is not the answer.
I really feel for all those children affected by the terrorist attacks in the USA. Most people do not contemplate the death of a parent until they reach old age. They have had to deal with this at such a young age. These children will be haunted for the rest of their lives with the images of that day. There is never any excuse for attacking the innocent, no matter who you are.
I was sitting at home idly watching TV when this began. I remember praying that it was not real. I rang everyone I could think of to find out if they saw it too. I remember sitting there with tears running down my face at the thought of all those people in the towers. There is NO justification for this.
Chris, Nottingham, UK
Everybody must learn from that tragic event that violence can not be stopped by violent retaliation. We all must learn to live and appreciate the lives of any nationalities, and resolve all problems diplomatically. God bless all people around the world.
When the second plane hit, my only thought was that life will never be the same. I don't know how things will change, but they certainly will. My perspective since that day has become deeper and more contemplative. Gracious! What seemed so important at work on Monday, 10 September, became rather petty and foolish that Tuesday morning. The bottom line is that life goes on. Count on it!
Maria S. Mendez, Miami, USA
Among all the ceremonies that took place immediately after September 11, the one that struck me the most was the playing of the American national anthem by the guard in front of Buckingham Palace. As Americans, I think we have a belief deep down that because of our power, our arrogance, and a million other things, that we aren't really that well liked by pretty much anyone in the world. That one ceremony I think made a lot of Americans feel otherwise, if only for a moment.
The most healing event that took place after the terrorist attacks for me, was when people in other countries responded by saying, "Today we are all Americans." The unity felt was profound. Imagine the joy when we will no longer be separated by country or race or religion. No longer will it by "my" country, but "our" world and "our" peace. Blessings to all.
Nigel Travis, Manchester, England
I will remember 9/11 when my naiveté came to an end. At 18, I never believed anyone could commit terrorism on such a large scale. And that night, as I walked the dead streets of my town (which were usually lively) I realised I would never be completely safe from harm, no matter where I am. My thoughts go to everyone involved in the tragedy of 9/11, be it something we hope never to see again.
Nothing to say but GOD BLESS AMERICA!
One year on and Al-Qaeda have proved they have achieved absolutely nothing by flying planes into buildings. They have left America warmongering more than ever and my prayer is for restraint as no other country should suffer what they have suffered.
Whilst I think a lot about September 11th, I did not lose anyone in the tragedy and feel it is not my place to talk about where I was at the time, or what I was doing - this should be the prerogative of those directly affected.
Whilst we all need to vent our feelings, I think people like me without real grief should talk less and think more, truly go outside ourselves to try to feel for those present there on that day.
When I used to go with my grandfather to war memorial services I didn't really know what the minute's silence was all about, but now I think I understand it so much more.
Horror, disbelief, profound sadness. No words can help the people who lost fathers, mothers, lovers, husbands wives and friends to come to terms with their loss. It is a hope which comes from the bottom of my heart that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair will not use the grief of so many to help promote the case for an attack on Iraq
My fiancée lives in New York. Although it was not likely he would be in or near WTC, on 9/11 it felt as though anything could happen. It was two hours before I could get through to him by telephone, during which I thought I would go mad. How much more so for the people who lost loved ones?
Fiona, NYC, USA
Americans seem to be quite bemused by some people's attitude towards this event. I'm 40 and I grew up with bomb sites, both from German bombs and Irish bombs. I walked to work through Hyde Park across the spot where a few hours later a bomb killed some horses and soldiers. I remember the bomb in the burger bar, in railway stations, in the City, Manchester, innumerable bomb scares. For me, and I think for many, the terrorist threat is just fairly ordinary.
Today my thoughts are primarily with the firemen and the families of those who died. My brother is also a fireman. You live every day with the fear that something will happen to them. It's a nightmare you pray will never come true. My heart and prayers go out to all of the 9/11 victims and their families, but the firemen and their families weigh heaviest on my mind.
I recently went to New York on holiday and I was shocked at what Ground Zero looked like and how big it was and was very emotional near a church where there were messages and things hanging up. God Bless America. You are our heroes, our friends, and my prayers are with you always.
I am a firefighter and Union president for Local 3918 here in Connecticut. My thoughts on that day are like losing someone in my family... That day I lost 343 members of my family. Words cannot describe how I continue to feel. My heart goes out to the FDNY and I will never forget!!
He left a wife and an unborn child who is now a happy little baby who will never experience his dad's unique sense of humour and personality. It's Simon's 40th tomorrow which will also serve as a reminder. How people have thought about doing a film I cannot imagine. Just seeing a hint of a disaster movie makes me depressed. I am not looking forward to 'one year on' and will do my best to escape the media on that day, but I can't escape my memories.
Ann Norris UK
Josef Grajova Denver, CO, USA A year on from this tragic event I wonder if we truly have learnt the correct lessons from this attack. Surely we should be seeking peace throughout the world as a result, rather then starting more wars.
Liam Leane, London, UK
I was so shocked and saddened by what happened on September 11th. What we need to do now is remove that element of risk. If there's even a remote chance of Iraq or anyone else repeating such a travesty, deal with it now. Let's not have to say years down the line "If only we'd done something sooner".
Abi, London, UK
I was flying into New York at the time of the attacks. We were diverted to Halifax in Nova Scotia. I would like to thank all of the people and organisations who looked after us. There were more than 40 airliners diverted to Halifax but we were all treated wonderfully.
I find it hard to believe that it's one year. May God comfort the bereaved families.
Steven Cadman, Glasgow, United Kingdom
As humanity we must learn forgiveness, as humans we must never forget.
Sumiran Tandon, Delhi, India
Thoughts and prayers, especially for those who lost a loved one - how can anyone forget 9/11? How can those who support those who perpetrated the atrocity live with it?
I am a proud American who can't understand why so many in this world hate us. People everywhere need to understand that Americans are peace loving people. September 11, 2001, was a tragic and dreadful day for peace loving people everywhere.
All this outpouring of grief smacks of hypocrisy, when we consider more people died in the revenge attacks in Afghanistan.
Blair and Bush are doing the right thing. A stop needs to come to those who inflict pain and fear into millions
Some of the most depressing but heartening footage was of fire engines, ambulances and police cars racing to help people. Looking at that footage now, one aches in the knowledge that they raced to certain death in the pursuit of helping others.
I don't know what disturbs me more; the memories of that awful day a year ago, or the prospect of the UK and USA invading Iraq to add to the death toll.
Having returned from Manhattan three weeks previous to the attacks on the World Trade Center, I was saddened and very upset as I watched the events unfold live. My thoughts are still with those who lost loved ones, friends and colleagues on that awful day.
I think America should not let these hijackers win and on 11 September they should carry on with their 'normal' day.
I was listening to the radio and suddenly the music was interrupted and the presenter said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I just assumed it was a light aircraft accident. Then it said another plane had hit and everyone knew something big had happened. I just sat in front of the TV in absolute shock. I was nervous on my journey home that night, as I felt what everyone did; vulnerability.
B Sait Bradford, UK
Witnessing what was unfolding on live TV was totally surreal. The vision of people jumping from the towers was a dreadful sight. My heart was broken because these individuals must have known that they had no chance of survival. What I was doing that day now seems so irrelevant. I pray that a tragedy on this scale never happens again.
On seeing the news as it unfolded I feared Armageddon, I still worry about where things are heading.
I still get upset of the thought of these poor children who lost their parents, I pray for them all.
Beth Hooper, Redditch, Worcestershire
It goes to show you that today's wars have no borders. We also must not forget that while the buildings were in the US, people from around the world also died at the World Trade Center. We must not forget them.
Jeroen, Amsterdam, Netherlands
I believe this event in itself is blown out of proportion, but I think it is a good day to think about peace.
Such a great evil, so much tragedy, we will remember and honour them by looking forward with honesty and hope.
We thought we were under attack on a national level. The President was somewhere in the air but couldn't land, there were hijacked planes still in the air.
I pray for an end to the suffering. All of it. The suffering of the families who have lost loved ones; the suffering of we the public, who will never get these images out of our minds; the suffering of the injured, whose limbs and lungs may never fully heal; and I pray for the desperate and tormented souls who believed that this act was holy.
They have just finished the reading of the names. It took two-and-a-half hours. Longer than it took for both buildings to be struck and fall. I broke down when I heard the name of our friends. I hadn't cried even last year. I now wept like I never have before.
As a recent university graduate in 2001, I never thought I would check my university website to find a list of missing and "confirmed dead" alumni, separated by class year.
Lori Mellman, Columbus, OH, USA
This anniversary is an opportunity for us all to remember what happened then, and reflect on how we responded to it in the last twelve months. This tragedy cannot, must not be used to justify the bombing of other cities in other parts of the world.
I am still enraged about the fact that the CIA and FBI both had the info about the attack and they couldn't do anything about it. So I don't know what else to say when so-called good networked intelligence agencies do nothing about verifying their info.
Stacey Hirlam, Leeds, England
We must never forget. Freedom often comes at a heavy price and as hard as it is we have to be willing to pay it for the sake of ourselves and our children.
I was watching it on the TV in our office in Frankfurt. I had just finished saying that in 1993 it took three or four hours to get down after the bomb went off. As I finished the sentence our tower collapsed. I still sometimes wonder if it would have been different if I had said nothing.
I will never forget the 11th of September 2001. I couldn't believe my eyes, thinking that this can happen only in movies. Today, after a year since the tragic event, America should look forward and continue its path as a leader of peace, democracy and liberty in the world.
This is a very sad day for many people across the US. I hate that this had to happen but this is life. We all just have to stick together and protect one another from the ones that want to harm us.
Chris Ransom, Colchester, UK
As September 11th arrives again, it brings with it a poignant reminder of the human capacity to inflict pain and suffering on others in the name of political power and religion. It also brings with it a message of reflection on one's own individual life and the impact it has on others.
Twelve months on the pictures still send a shiver down my spine. I'm flying out to New York tomorrow, and I'll take some time out of my holiday to think of those that lost their lives, and hope this kind of horror is never repeated.
9/11 has changed my life so much. My heart and prayers go out to all the people who lost loved ones last year. It makes me so sad to know people are having to endure this pain all over again.
I remember the rumours and the whispers cascading down the office. Once the news was confirmed, further whispers grew, telling us that more planes were on there way to London. I'll never forget the feeling that everything was beyond control.
I was driving along the motorway when the shocking news came over the radio. All I remember doing is pulling up to listen in utter shock at what was going on. My thoughts are with the many who lost their lives and to the families they left behind, still.
Words cannot describe my thoughts that day as I have never experienced mass devastation and lack of respect for human life. I had been to NY previously and the highlight of my trip was standing on the observation deck of the WTC. To reflect on the situation knowing the sheer size of the towers and masses of people working there brought a feeling over me that I would never want to experience again.
As we all remember what happened last year, where we were and what we felt, let us also remember those who remain on duty today. Both those protecting us and those serving us. Living in Europe as I do, and as a British ex-pat, terrorism is not new to me and is something that I have lived with the majority of my life. However, it is a very different feeling I have this year with my wife flying into and out of America over the anniversary - despite the empty seats on the planes.
I have worn my New York t-shirt to work today, I work for the NHS. To remember and to commiserate.
I left work at around 3pm to pick my two boys up from school last year. The radio was on and I couldn't really make sense of what was being said and then it sank in. I drove a lot faster that day to get to my kids. Even though this was happening thousands of miles away, I felt very vulnerable and extremely scared.
I was on an international flight to Cancun from Gatwick and was approaching Boston when the first plane hit. Our plane was turned back and landed safely in New England, USA. Today brings back REAL memories for me of the poor people and civilians that lost their lives in such a cruel and bitter way. May God be with all the people who lost loved ones in the tragedy.
Its hard to believe that a year has passed already, I don't have any real understanding of politics or the Middle East but I constantly come to the same conclusion that September 11th is unforgivable, its impossible to find any reasoning or understanding behind this - what will always, always stay with me are the phone calls made from the passengers and workers in the Trade Centre to their families -and the feeling of anger that there was absolutely nothing that I could do but watch -
My most chilling vision is seeing people jump from a tower block knowing that they would die. The terror of what they must have felt to do this is unimaginable. I hope any actions taken in the last year, and years to come, prevent anyone from having to do this, or face anything like it, ever again.
The anniversary of 9/11 should be used as much as remembering the terrible acts committed by others. Anyone who believes the western powers are totally blameless is adding to the problem.
Ian Hunter, UK
I was driving alongside the runway at the main airport in the British Virgin Islands where I was assisting in the redevelopment of the airport, when my colleague got a call from his girlfriend in Australia saying a plane had hit the World Trade Centre. At first we thought it was just a light aircraft. We raced back to the site office to find people walking round in stunned disbelief. As the events unfolded I sat at my computer reading the news updates and wondered what could possess anyone to commit such an act and what they really thought it would achieve.
I was working on a British Telecom switchboard when it happened, and all I knew to begin with was a flashed message on screen telling of a 'terrorist bomb attack' in USA - and to give the Foreign Office hotline number to concerned relatives. For me the most harrowing experience was going back to the switchboard and speaking to a number of people who had or thought they had relatives or friends in those buildings, or in New York - the phone lines there were down and there was just total distress - and there was so little I could do other than comfort them and offer them another number to call where they would hopefully find out some more information.
Stephen Brain, London, UK
Asked where you were on September 11 2001, I reply that I stood next to John Kennedy's grave when the plane went into the Pentagon. To have been half a mile from the act of terrorism that destroyed 300 lives and the impact on all those left behind, I still cannot believe in the 21st century the human race has not become "civilised". I live in hope one day we can live our lives in peace and harmony.
As a young American growing up today, I have conflicting feelings about that fateful day one year ago. I am angry, hurt, and feel a vulnerability that I never knew until September 11. But, in the same breath, I feel so very lucky. I am glad that I was fortunate enough to learn in my youth the fragility of life.
Marie, California, USA
One year ago today, I was watching the events of 9/11 live, on a television set in our tea room at work. My feelings of absolute disbelief and horror were echoed in the faces of my colleagues, of all backgrounds. It was the first time that I have seen a group of South Africans so in touch with each other, about anything other than sport.
Today I am afraid. The air force has stepped up patrols across our city, fearing attacks on the base or on the missile development plant. I have to go to class at the university, but all I'll be able to think about are my friends in New York, especially those injured and killed in the attacks one year ago. This day is a sadness I will never be able to dispel; everything has changed, and I am afraid of the change.
Alice Thompson, Baltimore, MD
Numb for several days, I wondered why I couldn't cry and when I would be able to. I cried, I bawled, when I heard of the turbaned Sikh killed in Arizona "in retaliation." A Sikh! If we don't learn more about other cultures, there will be no hope for humanity.
I was in my local pub after work and they had Sky News on the tele. They always had the news on in that place, so nothing seemed odd. Then the horrible pictures started coming in and everyone started phoning their families to say "I love you" and stuff, thinking it was World War 3.
What I find even more awful than the terrorist actions is the way that some people in Britain have taken it upon themselves to avenge Islam for it. Two of the people I was drinking with on that day were Muslims and they have had verbal and physical abuse because of it.
What happened on the 11 September was a terrible thing. Many innocent people died over nothing. Many people lost a part of their city, and many were traumatized by the pictures they've seen. No sane man can say that this was done for a reason.
M Dawson, USA
The biggest thing that struck me and still strikes me now is how helpless I felt. I felt that anything I did just could not help those that died, or those that survived. I just sat staring at my hands wondering what I could possibly do to make this never happen again.
I believe we should concentrate our efforts on creating peace in the Middle East rather than starting a new war.
Neal Richardson, New York, USA (ex-UK)
The thing I remember clearest of my visits to New York City is the World Trade Center. Seeing them fall, remembering all the people that worked in there, made it seem even more gut wrenching to me. I wish we could all just get along with each other and rid the world of the kind of extremism that allows this type of thing to happen.
My reflection is one of deep sorrow.
My heart aches for those who lost their family and friends. It still amazes me that those people who claim that they are so close to God can hold such evil, inhumane and repulsive beliefs. I, myself, am a Muslim, they are not. They are not even human.
We had friends working at the WTC and surrounding area; we had friends in DC, across the road from the Pentagon; we had friends stranded across the country, unable to get home as all the planes were grounded.
We saw the smoke, and the ash fell on us for days.
The US government and NYC government lied to us all about the safety precautions in place (or not), and thousands more people are looking at premature death from the toxic chemicals spewed out over the city.
I have cried over and again for the close calls and those who didn't make it. And, like many of the bereaved families, I will not allow warmongering to go unprotested. That's how it's affected me - it's made me appreciate peace even more than before.
Julie Brown, San Francisco, USA
I am married to an American and we both watched in horror as the events unfolded. I was at work and people were telling me the towers had come down, I simply didn't believe it until I saw it with my own eyes. My wife was shocked at what she was seeing, especially as we were due to fly to San Francisco 2 weeks later. We went ahead with our trip, but you could sense the change in feelings and unitedness from previous times. We will never forget that day! Footnote: Anyone realise that 9/11 is the US Emergency number? Just a coincidence or not?
I was at work that dreadful day when someone ran downstairs to tell me the news. I ran upstairs to the TV to see the second plane hit. I was shocked and horrified that anyone could want, justify and commit such an act. My heart goes out to everyone who was affected by that day. I am currently in NYC travelling America and I will be going to Ground Zero on the 11th to show my support for the American people on the anniversary of that tragic day.
Jo Conroy, South London
I remember distinctly being evacuated from the 57th floor of the high-rise I worked in almost as soon as I arrived to work.
11 September, 2001 was the most eventful day of my life! My wife was in labour on the 11th and our daughter was born the next day. To add to a difficult labour, we have friends who worked at, or near the World Trade Center. Thankfully everyone close to us survived, although one friend lost a brother-in-law and her home. Having a new baby is our inspiration to make this world a better, safer place for all.
I watched the towers collapse from the windows of my living room here in Brooklyn. From my distance it was such a small sound that came over the water. Like crinkling aluminium foil. The wind was blowing in our direction so our street was covered with ash and paper debris.
Watching those horrific pictures on the news a year ago, I remember thinking that if I'd seen similar scenes in a Hollywood film, I would have dismissed them as unbelievable. How human life can treated with such contempt by some people, I will never understand.
Najib Murad, Dallas, TX, USA
Things were happening so fast. The President was whisked away in Airforce One to a secure location, people were being evacuated from the WTC and people with no hope were jumping out of the windows and dying right before our eyes. The first tower fell and several minutes later, the second tower. Those poor people never had a chance. I remember thinking: "God, I know you are with every one of those people right now."
I can remember the anger and bitterness I felt at seeing the attacks. One year on, and I can't say the feelings have diminished. I have no desire to see Bin Laden, or any other terrorist killed. But I long to see the causes of terrorism destroyed. In spite of my best efforts, I can't bring myself to forgive the perpetrators of this evil act. America is too great a nation to be put down by these cowards. If anything, the bravery and resolve of this nation are only strengthened more. The terrorists have achieved the exact opposite of what they wanted to achieve.
I worked in the World Trade Center in 1993 and 1994, so I am very familiar with the area. I took my wife to visit New York in February 2001, staying a block or two away from WTC, beside the World Financial Centre. We went up to the observation deck, something I never did whilst working there. I am stunned by the scale of the devastation. I have not been able to really take it in since my wife phoned me at work to say that she had heard reports of the disaster on the radio.
David Stuteley, Birmingham, UK
After 11 September the whole world has had to learn that that the need for global peace must be strengthened.
I was so shocked, I just sat and watched the news, the pictures of people jumping from the towers and then running for their lives as they collapsed just made me weep. It still makes me cry now, thinking about all those people who have died. I hope that everybody will focus not just on remembering the dead, but also on making sure nothing like this ever happens again.
My wish on the eve of my son's 11th birthday is that we can start on a path of understanding, trust and a common love of humanity, which can leads us to peace. If we do not strive for peace and an understanding of all peoples, cultures and religions, what hope do we have for the future?
I was at home watching it on TV, but as terrible as it was I could not switch it off. My thoughts go out to the people who were there and those who lost members of their family.
I was in Washington DC working six Blocks from the US Capitol. I remember watching as it unfolded on TV. I could not believe what was happening and wondered who had committed this horrific act? The next night I was down in front of the capitol at a vigil letting the terrorists know that what they had done had not weakened us but it had made us even stronger.
Alison Pearson, London, England
I watched last year on a screen inside one of the European Space Agency (an organisation dedicated to peaceful use of technology) sites in Italy. I can remember the shock on the faces of friends and colleagues, Swedish, Norwegian, British, Irish, Italian, the nationality seemed to matter not at all.
Helen Ledger, London, England
I was on honeymoon in Corsica and didn't find out what had happened until 2 days after the attacks!
The 11th of September is of particular poignancy for my wife and I because it is our wedding anniversary. Our thoughts go out to those who remember that date for tragic rather than happy reasons. I support action against terrorism, but I also want to understand what causes it.
Nicola Bromham, Bagshot, UK
The terrorists were fully aware that the World Trade Center was the Titanic of our age, a triumph of modern engineering and a symbol of the technological advances of western society. To destroy them was to puncture the collective consciousness with a one in a generation disaster. Had they simply killed 3000 people there would have been outrage, but they destroyed symbols of our society doubling the impact that their attacks had. This reminded people of just how mortal we really are despite the great things we can build.
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