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Friday, 3 January, 2003, 17:58 GMT
What was your memorable event of 2002?
In 2002 we received hundreds of thousands of your e-mails from all over the world on everything from global politics and the war on terrorism to the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
You've had your say on issues including Iraq, the terror attack on Bali, the continuing violence in the Middle East, the death of 129 hostages following the siege of a Moscow theatre and the famine which threatens 38 million people in southern Africa.
In the UK, many thousands of you gave your tributes to Queen Elizabeth in her Golden Jubilee year, and to the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret who both died at the beginning of 2002.
The firefighters' strike instigated a heated online debate, and you sent us your eyewitness experiences of the Potters Bar rail crash within minutes of the accident.
You've also put your questions directly to leading world figures including UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and the Burmese pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
What was the most memorable event of 2002 for you? What were the highs and lows of the year?
Thank you for your e-mails. This debate is now closed. A selection of your comments is published below.
Steve Brereton, UK
Being able to lose two stone in weight thanks to the Atkins diet in 6 weeks, and to also totally re design the way I think and eat food. Its eight weeks since I came off this diet and have only put on two lbs over Xmas.
Even through all the tough politic issues in my country, people had never been so warm and close. Viva Venezuela.
The highlight of my year - in fact of many years - was starting a brand new career at over 50! I had been unemployed for some considerable time (although doing voluntary work) and am a survivor of mental health problems. I successfully applied for a post as a mental health outreach worker for a wonderful mental health organisation appropriately named Imagine. They viewed my age and my previous mental health problems as an asset that would enable me to empathise with others, rather than something negative. Today, New Year's Day, I am celebrating my first three months working for this organisation that truly lives up to its name.
Steve Urhegyi, Manchester, UK,
I'd have to say high points of the year would be the successful rescue of the miners in Pennsylvania last summer. It was one of the few times I witnessed a positive breaking news flash. Another high point has to be peace in Sri Lanka. I wish the inhabitants of that beautiful country a lasting peace. The low points would be the continuing problems in the Middle East and the murder of all innocents in the name of religion and nationalism.
The death of the leader of UNITA Jonas Savimbi on 22 February paved the way to the end of 27 years of war in Angola. For me, the high point in the year was the signing on April 4th of the peace accord between the government (MPLA) and the leadership of UNITA.
After many years of death and misery the Angolan people now have a chance to enjoy peace and prosperity, and this has been my wish since I left Luanda in 1975.
I look forward to greater achievements towards peace, good government and prosperity of the Angolan people, who more than any other nation deserves the recognition of the international community.
Definitely the Bali bombing - truly horrific and disturbing
Like many others, for me the greatest time of 2002 was those two days in June when it felt just briefly as though Britain was a united and happy country under our great and long-serving Queen. Being in the Mall with a million people of all races and creeds, all singing and celebrating the sense of history and continuity of our monarchy and a shared sense of identity. If only it could be like that more often! Sadly we were soon back to the usual cynicism and disunity that is gradually destroying the UK as a decent society - but it was nice while it lasted.
The gratitude and appreciation that came with my country's rediscovering the ties that bind America with Britain in perpetuity, as so many of have done before.
Happy Christmas Great Britain!
The most memorable moment in 2002 must be the success of World Cup 2002. It's like a folk tale with the happy ending that the Korean team got to the semi-final. It's so wonderful. I hope that in the near future, an Asian team will be the winner of the World Cup. Happy new year to everyone!
My most memorable event was not news making, nor of international importance to anyone except me. The event was my wife's recovery from an operation for an ailment which would have probably killed her had it not been done. I marvel at the skill of the surgeon and the nurses.
Roxy, NYC, USA
My year's highlight has to be hearing that George Bush, arguably the world's most powerful man had lowered his guard and was defeated... by the mighty pretzel.
Not being able to go back to school on time in September because of the events of August.
The memorable moment in 2002 was when I significantly got the highest marks in my school. Thus, I was introduced with the award of the best student of the year. This victory indicated that every one can be successful if they work hard.
For me the continued threat of war with Iraq and the continued unrest in the Middle East way the heaviest on my thoughts of this year past. I only hope that as we enter a new year that the world can sweep these things from the forefront of our news stories. Peace to all!
Brian May playing the National Anthem from the roof of Buckingham Palace - Freddie would have loved it.
I will never forget the bombing in a peaceful piece of earth "Bali" and the violence in Nigeria. The World Cup Soccer was amazing too, but Cricket is my favourite.
Personally, my marriage on April 20. On a global scale, one of the news stories that had the biggest impact were the "elections" in Zimbabwe. Yet another example of how a people can be so despondent, they will tolerate even the most destructive of leaders.
The best thing in the year 2002 is that it is my second year in university and I'm enjoying it. The second memorable thing for me is that our girl's tennis team got third place in Medical Cup. All of the girls on the team had worked hard for it, and I think we all deserved that recognition. Thanks to BBC for letting me propose my happiness here. Thanks a lot!
Ahmed, Sri Lanka
The most important event of the year was the launch of the euro currency. It's Europe in our pockets.
The most moving, hopeful and joyful event that I can remember in 2002 was the multi faith celebration of love and peace at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Something beautiful and hopeful to remember the year by.
Angus, London, UK
The Bali terrorist attack, because it changed me from a pacifist into an activist.
My resident application being accepted and moving to Australia was pretty good for me this year, but Brian May playing the National Anthem still brought tears to my eyes.
Opening the BBC Website on 29th Dec to find that Lord's Resistance Army Rebel Chief rang a radio station in Northern Uganda to say he wants peace talks. He has fought the government for 15 years.
My mother's illness and remarkable recovery during the first few months of 2002. The wonderful treatment she received from our much maligned NHS in Aberdeen restored my faith in that system. (and also made me determined to retire to Scotland!) Also the appalling debacle of the A level results. My youngest daughter was a victim, but happily received her just reward eventually through re-marking. On a global scale, the continuing threat from George W Bush to plunge us all into war.
Susan W, Kenya/USA
My most memorable moment has to be in February when I went swimming with dolphins! An amazing experience that I will remember for all time. Globally there were so many things that happened this year but the Queen's Jubilee was a rarity in this country - to see such patriotism in a positive light was a real gem. The way the country mourned together for the loss of Jessica and Holly and the way the world has pulled together to try and make a way forward in peace and not give in to terrorists.
Seeing Ireland get as far as they did in the World Cup. Truly brilliant.
The Best thing is the Internet to see that all around this planet, we are all just individuals with the same concern, PEACE! Thank you BBC for having this site, and all those around the world expressing their views. Lets all join hands, no matter who we are, and let those BULLIES out there hear our voices in PEACE! Love Peace Harmony to all from Canada!
The highlight of year 2002 was the Jubilee celebrations, the artists, the fireworks, the whole show but most of all to see the smiles of happiness on the faces of the Royal Family and especially the face of Her Majesty the Queen.
You wouldn't believe it; my most memorable event was when I got a job which I feel I get all the satisfaction from and my career ladder is going higher and higher each day and am thankful for that.
The murder of a thirteen-year-old girl at my favourite falafel shop in my town, not five minutes from my apartment, by a homicide bomber remains one of the sadder moments I experienced in 2002. I pray every night for peace in Israel and for an end to the daily tragedies.
The most memorable and touching event in my life this year was the return of more than 400 years old tabot from Scotland to its home - Ethiopia.
Without a doubt, President Bush's address to the UN is one of the most memorable events of 2002. He challenged the UN to prove its significance by committing to fighting terrorism and enforcing the resolutions aimed at disarming Iraq. I'm very proud of my president! History will prove him right. I'm sure of it.
The most memorable event, for all the right reasons, was when the 'foot of God' knocked those lovely Argentineans out of the World Cup.
Simon Charles Rudman, England
I wrangled with my girlfriend on "happy" Xmas. How terrible it was!
The World Cup and Jubilee celebrations were fantastic and the most fun I've had in years. I was ever so proud of my adopted home and pleased to see such national pride unsullied by jingoism.
Getting married on 20th June to the love of my life, and the perfect honeymoon in Scotland. What could be more memorable than that?
Easy question. On 4th December in Ceduna, South Australia, I finally got to see a total solar eclipse. It was everything I expected and more. I'm already making plans to see the next one in 2006!
Michael Barratt, England
My son going to University in England. He is the first in the Lamichane clan from Argaun to have enrolled in Cardiff University. The Lamichanes are all thrilled.
I would say that the death of the Queen Mother was the most prolific moment of 2002. It was a terribly sad moment for all in the Empire; a terribly sad moment in my life. How sad for our Queen to bear the death of both a mother and sister in the same year. May the New Year bring better tidings to all.
For me; being in Korea during the World Cup. The scenes on the streets during Korea's games will be long remembered. Patriotism as it should be - pride and joy at the achievements of the country - happy inclusion of foreigners in the Party. Well done Korea!
The most memorable moment for me was paying in Euro for the very first time. I felt more European than ever.
The world cup without the Scots.
The relief of England going out of the World Cup. It just made the whole tournament (as it always does) so much more enjoyable.
A new Labour minister actually taking responsibility for her failures. Goodbye Estelle Morris, you at least have some integrity!
David Beckham's converted penalty against Argentina meant so much to many people, not least of all to Beckham. One in the eye for the blatant cheating of the Argentinean's theatrical display in 1998.
If 2001 was the year remembered for the tragedies of September 11th, 2002 was the year of daily tragedies, for Israeli celebrating Passover in Netanya, clubbers in Bali, civilians killed by surprise, throughout the globe from Kenya to Colombia.
On a positive note; the thrill of jumping out of an aeroplane at 10,000 ft in Australia and New Zealand.
On a negative note; the fear and realisation that terrorists are likely to strike in the UK in the near future.
Getting engaged - down on one knee at Galleon's Lap, Ashdown Forest the memorial to AA Milne and EH Shepherd and their great work Winnie the Pooh. Unusual and romantic, I'll never forget it.
Watching the Concorde-Red Arrows flypast over Buck Pal over the internet at work. It made me incredibly homesick, and nearly made me cry... just the thought of missing a huge, free party, and a day off work. It also made me proud to be British, which I thought was more or less impossible. But don't worry, I recovered!
The sniper who kept so much of the Washington, D.C. area in terror.
The picture of George Bush dressed in army fatigues, looking through his binoculars at the enemy, still with the lenses covers on.
James Flinders, Nottingham, England
Losing my virginity!
August 1st. Getting the all-clear after having a large tumour surgically removed. An amazing feeling of unexpected reprieve and sudden freedom.
I've given up worrying about world affairs as it isn't going to make the tiniest difference. What will be will be. The best thing that happened to me is learning yoga as that teaches me to enjoy my health and the simple things in life. I ain't gonna let any terrorist, child-killer, president, or anyone cranky ruin my life!
Making a relationship last longer than a month!
Lord of the Rings, the DVDs and the new Two Towers. Amazing, just, amazing.
It would have to be Paula Radcliffe smashing the world record in Chicago.
You probably won't print this but... the highlight was the number of medals the English shooters received in the Commonwealth games. The lowlight was the lack of coverage the BBC gave them and Mr Blair's thoughtless comments regarding our 14-year-old gold medallist - something along the lines of "But what is a girl of 14 doing with a gun?" instead of congratulating her on a spectacular achievement.
Brazil 2: England 1.
Nicole Cooke winning the Commonwealth Games cycling road race for Wales. Well done Nicole!
The day I lost my best friend who was my pillar, mentor and my confidant. His death has made me to be a strong woman and I will always miss him. Each day I pray for his soul to rest in peace.
Making my comments on BBC first time, and seeing them appear on BBC would be my wonderful memory of 2002. I just found out few Taiwanese coming here. What a pity!
My brother's wedding was the most memorable event of the year coupled with the football World Cup and the Golden Jubilee. All in all an amazing year!
Without a doubt, India beating England in THAT Natwest Trophy Final... luvvly jubbly!!
Brazil's winning goal against England! What a result!
The deaths of Holly and Jessica. The hope, the sadness and then the united people of Soham was heartbreaking.
E Stals, Belgium
As an Australian, the most memorable event for me was a sad one. The terrorist bombing of the nightclubs in Bali where so many of our young Australians were killed. What a sad Christmas for the families of these young people. Why do these terrorists hate us so much? What can we do to stop this hate?
Trying to do my bit for the environment by applying for a grant from the government for solar electric panels (successful), then having the council planning officer refuse my application, then having the head of planning overturn his planning officer's refusal on the grounds she (the planning officer) was an idiot!
England 1 - 0 Argentina. What a result!!
The moment I will never forget is when my final result had been sent to me back home and it was bad result. I was amazingly disappointed and caused the family lots of pain and shameful moments, I am back again to university and hope that I get it all right and pass.
The most memorable moment of this year was when the Korean national team stormed through to the semi-finals in the World Cup 2002, which was co-hosted by South Korea and Japan.
Craig & Elizabeth Hall, England
Without a shadow of a doubt England beating Argentina 1-0!!!! What a truly great day of partying, celebration and finally getting one over for that moment in '86! What a way to bring a nation together!!!
My father died last week and Joe Strummer died yesterday. I suddenly feel very middle aged...
The worlds greatest guitarist Mr Brian May esq, playing the worlds greatest national anthem on the worlds most haunting guitar, while standing on the roof of the home of the Royal Family of the world's greatest nation. Anyone who wasn't proud to be British after seeing that, and the Concorde/Red Arrows flypast, should pack up and leave now.
This is really sad I know, but the most memorial event of the year was discovering Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was Jubilee weekend and fortunately I had flu so sat down for about 36 hours of Buffy in a 48 hour period. Reality was slightly skewed for days afterwards.
For me, it was discovering the BBC website!
After an insignificant year of out-of-date royal events, corrupted business and football enforced upon us as if everyone loves it, there can be only one option: Boris Johnson presenting Have I Got News For You!!!!
Going to my friend's wedding in Poland and realising how wonderful the people there are. I am very happy that many Eastern European countries are joining the EU, it might just cool the pretentiousness caused by countries in the West.
The loss of the two little girls who disappeared in August. They are still in my thoughts, as well as their parents. It must be a very difficult time for them. Wishing them lots of strength.
Probably spending the first four months of this year off work as a result of a car crash. Especially in March when the regional news asked the viewers which roads in their opinion were the most dangerous in Britain. I wheeled over to the computer and sent South Today an email with my one working arm volunteering the A339, which later was mentioned on the programme.
It will have to be Beckham's penalty against Argentina!
The deaths of my father (love you, Dad) and Joe Strummer - two men who made me who I am.
I can only describe the main events of 2002 as sobering, sickening, and superb. And these words describe the events so dear to the hearts of all: the aftermath of 9-11, the threat of war in Iraq, and the events of the Queen's Golden Jubilee. But the two greatest events of 2002 happened in my family; my eight-year-old's first communion in the wake of the priest scandal in the Catholic Church, and my oldest daughter's fifteenth birthday when all the rest of the world was worried about the state of the economy.
It's personal, and you may say I'm making a fuss of it. But it's really, really my most memorable event of 2002, and probably one of the biggest things in my life - for the first time in my life, I am in love! Nothing's strong enough to describe how sweet and warm love feels, and I guess only those who used to feel or those who are feeling it understand what I'm saying. I'll keep the year 2002 deep in my heart forever.
Matthew Lacey, Wales
The most memorable event? Coming to the realisation that Bush and Blair have no regard for the man on the street, and are hell-bent on starting a war at any cost, while attempting to fool Joe Public into thinking the contrary.
Finding out about John Major and Edwina Currie. Hopefully some therapy should help. It was far more than any of us needed or wanted to know.
The most memorable moment for me and many of my countrymen was definitely our invitation to join the EU.
Having two huge southern right whales spending a few days swimming around Sydney's beautiful, busy harbour. Knowing they knew they were safe being with us.
I hate to be self-centred, but it was my 30th birthday. A totally excellent weekend from start to finish. I saw two friends I hadn't seen for 13 years and had a large drunken messy party. I loved it. Not news, but it was 'my' memorable event.
The most shocking news this year was certainly the brutal bank robbery in early May that happened in a small Hungarian town called Mor.
The fall of the American giant companies such as WorldCom and Enron. The aftermath of how the faith in stocks dropped, the indecent show of corruption that exists in the world. Unforgettable moments. Even more unforgettable is that the BBC World Service turns 70! Good luck.
Without a doubt - my wedding on 14th January! This was my second wedding, his third. I was widowed, he was twice-divorced. We were married in our local Methodist Church where we've worshipped regularly for the past 5 years, ever since we met (on the internet!) and he moved in with me. I was 66, he was 67. I wanted it to be completely different from anything that had gone before for either of us, different from any other wedding we'd ever seen or attended.
It was simple, beautiful, meaningful, and our friends at church all helped with the flowers, the music, a little boy to be ring-bearer and an old gentleman to walk me up the aisle. 18 of us had lunch in a local country pub/restaurant, and we had a three-day holiday in the Cotswolds.
Brian May - atop Buck Pal, tears in my eyes and not just through mirth.
Without a shadow of a doubt , England defeating Argentina 1-0 on Friday 12th June and the elation and partying it sparked. A huge boost for our footballers and for the pub trade. It was my personal happiest day of the year and one I would pick over the other 364.It will be known to future generations as the day that England and David Beckham gained sweet revenge over their footballing foes from South America.
Global terrorist attacks were among the most memorable news events of 2002, along with the stark realization that the world had changed profoundly since September 11 of 2001. In America, we realised how much we had taken personal freedoms - our unfettered ability to walk on and off planes, into buildings, stadiums, etc for granted.
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