It is two years since thousands of people were killed when terrorists hijacked two planes and flew them into in New York's Twin Towers, but many are still suffering the effects of the attack.
Plans to rebuild on the foundations of the obliterated twin towers were met with protest this week from victims' families, who argue that it constitutes a sacred cemetery for everyone who died there.
And many people are still worried about their own safety, with recent power cuts in America and the UK generating panic that it may be a repeat attack.
The Arab TV station al-Jazeera has broadcast a videotape on the eve of the second anniversary which it says shows Osama Bin Laden, whose al-Qaeda network has been blamed for the attacks.
How has the world changed as a result of September 11? Do you feel safe? What do you think of plans for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:
The world hasn't changed. Terrorism has been around for a long time, little was done by the world to pursue the Terrorists in Northern Island, Spain, Italy, Corsica and many other places. Perhaps this really is a war on Islam.
David Simpson, Turkey
The world has changed dramatically. It's not a matter of individual safety, now humanity is in attack. There is need to fight with terrorism globally and wipe the tears of victims. In a safe world it would be easy to re-build safe trade center.
There is need to fight with terrorism globally and wipe the tears of victims
Pradeep Shukla, USA
On 9/11 2001 America had the whole world's sympathy. They had a great chance to change relations between first world and third world. Fighting starvation diseases, poverty ... They didn't, instead they started this crazy war on terror. Two years later a big part of the world looks at America as the great danger of the world's future.
Victoria Lanza, Spain
Sept 11th was a tragedy but it only brought to the US what many other parts of the West were suffering already. Some of this was sponsored by US citizens. If the US is genuine about fighting terror, which I don't believe they are, lets see the same penalties being handed to people in the US who support Noraid as are being handed to those who support Al-Qaeda
Since 9/11 people in the west have treated Muslims with much more suspicion, particularly those who have chosen to live in western liberal societies. There is a lot of talk about the west having to understand Islam. However, those Muslims who choose to live in the west must make a greater effort to dissociate themselves from the barbaric terrorists fanatics in their midst claiming that they act in the name of Islam.
In response to Andy below: The ceremonies in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania are part of the healing process for the thousands of people who lost loved ones and the nation as a whole. Just last week there was a funeral for the final fire-fighter who lost his life at Ground Zero. We are dealing with the terrorists and are still hunting them down. But we will not forget those who died on that beautiful September day. We don't expect the rest of the world to commemorate this day. But leave us be to grieve our losses.
Unfortunately, the Bush Administration is doing everything to make the world believe that the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks were somehow right. For example: Now even the strongest former opponents of Saddam Hussein in Iraq want U.S. troops to leave their country because of American soldier's behaviour there.
Dr. Günther Orth, Germany
The US was not attacked because of what it did, but for what it is. While changing US foreign policies may ease appease moderates, it will not end terrorist threats and attacks. If we are willing to abandon democracy, open societies, religious freedom, freedom of speech and expression, only then can we negotiate with the terrorists. If, on the other hand, we are not willing to give up these things, we had best be prepared to defend them.
Shane Watts, USA
America should stop fooling around chasing shadows and brace up to reality. The country is a primary target for terrorist and the US government should map out strategies to protect the country. Not fight unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ifedi Micheal Umeh, Nigeria
The site of two planes crashing into the world trade center is still alive in the eyes of the American people and forever remain so. It has indeed changed the perception of the Americans towards global terrorism and united them for the first war of the twenty-first century.
Americans would never feel safe again because of their government policies. When ever they want Americans to agree on their acts. They remind them of 9-11 and make them fear the attacks again. Claiming that every action that the bush administration is taking is only a step forward to protect them from terrorists. I feel sorry for Americans since their government is capitalizing on 9-11 to wage wars and allow terror. And god bless all those who passed on that day.
We all are remembering this tragic event in the history of the USA and hope this will never happen again. But in this day we have to make mention of the mistakes done before the downfall of the twin world trade towers. Though the impact of the flying planes was tremendous, it was not sufficient to destroy the buildings. The faulty and unsound construction of the towers made heavier the collapse and intensity of the tragedy.
Joe Nigrin, Guatemala
I believe 9/11 marks a time in history when the US made a big turn for the worse. Our president uses the attacks as an excuse to attack other countries, and to control all citizens with the "patriot act". I believe our future is grim, we will have serious problems due to the poor choices our President has made. I can only pray that the world can mend from this.
Alana Clampitt, USA
The annual ceremonies for 9/11 only serve to strengthen Al Qaeda, as they see this as a time of celebration and resentment of the democratic world. We clearly need to show them that we have brushed this incident under the carpet, and are ready to deal with them. Not have annual remembrance ceremonies where they can clearly see that the world is still hurting from this incident!
What happened on 11/9 was a real tragedy. What is equally tragic is that the Bush administration has failed to make something good out of it. The US failed to understand from this act of war (according to Bush) that war is generally a terrible situation and instead of showing restrain it proved willing to engage in more wars. The explanation from Bush (and from a country that is trying to portray it self as the model democracy) that they took the frontline of this war to rest of the planet to protect the US soil doesn't sound to me very democratic. Also lets try to remember that Saddam was a dictator not a terrorist.
Marry Lianopoulou, Greece
To those who say that America has overreacted and must reason with 7th century aficionados I ask the following: Name any time in human history where negotiations alone between warring parties resulted in a lasting peace. Even if there existed such an example, you must have willing participants. Islam demand that we must convert or die, period. Peace will only come when one side has clearly won on the battlefield.
If anything positive has happened since 9/11 is that America has come together to fight a real threat. For my friends and family in Europe, let me say that Americans are still a friendly, democratic, and peace-loving people but they will no longer put up with terrorists who would come in and kill them just because they're Americans. As Bush said the other night on TV, the Americans are bringing the fight to the terrorists soil rather than risk losing more lives here in the US.
Adam, Boston, USA (German-American)
I have noticed an interesting dichotomy between European and US posters on this forum. Our European friends say, "Don't build on the site. Leave the site vacant as a memorial to those who died on 9/11". American posters for the most part say, "Let us rebuild. Let us show sensitivity and respect in doing so, but we must reclaim what is ours."
It is still acceptable in America to love your country, to be patriotic without apology. We don't need a gaping hole in lower Manhattan to remind us what happened on September 11, 2001. Our hearts and minds will never allow us to forget.
Scott Gebhardt, USA
Ask yourself "What does Bin Laden want". He wants any excuse to kill Americans.
Without that he is nothing. Get out of Saudi Arabia was his reason... until we left. Now what is it? Without his hate for America he is nothing. Therefore nothing the US does will end this except to continue to fight until he is dead. That is what we owe the living. We owe the dead no less. If the US is alone, that's just fine with me.
Philip E. Preston,
The world since September 11 2001 is a changed place. Recession, unemployment, mistrust of different cultures etc has risen considerably. While it is not that unsafe the whole process of how we think and of our own value system has been shaken by its foundation. Nonetheless in memory of those who died two years ago, let us not get defeated by these "deviated few". Peace to those who died and peace to them who survived and their closest kin. In remembrance.
Arif Sayed, Dubai, UAE
The events on that day changed the lives of more than just the people who were there. They changed the lives of everyone. We should remember this day with not only sorrow and despair but with great respect for some of the bravest people this world has ever seen.
Kate Osborne, England
Yes, the world has changed in many different ways, maybe for the worse. The attacks in New York really started and stirred a lot of hatred among different cultures and religions, it's a total catastrophe.
Keep the 'footprints' of the towers by building a hall over them, it's important to the children, friends and relatives of those lost to have somewhere to visit and a hall would allow for families to place wall plaques commemorating their loved one. It could also incorporate some of the original building structure. Any structure could then be placed above the hall.
Alice, London, UK
I think most of us have that dreaded thought of What is next'? And if we are truly safe. We can't live our lives wondering what is going to happen tomorrow. At last the public are being made more aware of how these groups are funded, but we should not forget that sometimes the US government has used this to their advantage. My heart goes out to all those who lost family and friends and I didn't realise the number of family and friends who do not have remains to bury. The world trade centre should not be built upon but remain an area of remembrance.
I have many opinions I would like to share with everybody about the war on Afghanistan and Iraq after the September 11th incident, but today (9/11), isn't the appropriate day to do so. Today we should be thinking of the victims, and their families of the attack on New York, and should honour them as brave people, who cannot be here with us today, but will never be forgotten.
I visited Ground Zero shortly after the first anniversary of the attack. In the hustle and bustle of New York, this place was strangely still. I left a tribute to the dead and lighted a candle. Two ladies asked me if it was for someone special and I replied that it was for everyone. At that point emotions would no longer stay in check and the three of us were crying and hugging in the street. I never learned their names, just that they had come from California for he same purpose as I. To remember.
Bill Bowdren, UK
The whole world changed on an autumn morning, never again will anyone feel truly safe. God bless all those lost souls and for their lives to live on, we must all learn to live in peace and be understanding of all races that share one world.
9/11/2001 was the date Terrorists declared war on the civilised world, claiming it was in the name of Islam. That day changed the world forever. The West, quite rightly, should harass those terrorists to the ends of the earth. The only people worse than those maniacs who planned and carried the atrocity of 9/11, are those who say it was a terrible act, But!
John W, England
I don't think 9/11 should ever be forgotten, and agree that there should be a memorial built to the souls that perished. Please don't build the twin towers again, it is too tempting for Al-Qaeda to fly yet more planes into it. New York should not lose the burial site under more concrete. The world was changed forever on that day and future generations should not be allowed to forget it. Yes, there are others dying every day around the world, but none in the concentration of that dreadful terrorist attack which is why we should remember and not forget.
G Cooke, UK
I don't think the buildings should be replaced as they are just building another target! I think it should stay as a memorial for all those families who lost on that tragic day.
Although 9/11 was a sad day, it really angers me how Americans think they are doing the world a favour by barging into countries and forcibly imposing their views of democracy on other countries. The whole world cried with you over the murder of innocent people on September 11th 2000. Now stop murdering other innocent to quench your blood lust!
A A, UK
Many here seem to have failed to realise that 9/11 is not related to America's foreign policy. That is a convenient smokescreen. Bin Laden and his like do not want detente or agreement to leave each other alone. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic extremists want the world to convert to Islam or die. There can be no accommodation.
Patrick Milne, UK
My thoughts will always be with the families that lost someone on 9/11-01. And for me the truly heroes is NYPD and the NYFD.
The world is not safer, because nobody is seeking to dialogue to try to overcome the political problems that led to September 11, only using force and more force. Force only works if one is strong enough.
Frederico Meyer, Brazil
September 11 should have been an eye opener for the Americans. Why is America targeted but not other countries? There has never been a terrorist attack in my country. Why? This means being the most powerful nation in the world does not make you impervious to attack. Bring US troops back to their own soil and terrorism will reduce dramatically.
To Mark Smith, London Fire-fighter, let's also remember all those lives lost and children orphaned in Iraq and elsewhere thanks to the post-911 policies of your country and the United States. There are no innocent parties to this on-going tragedy, save for the ordinary civilians caught in the middle.
Why is the death of 3,000 American people more important than the death of Palestinian people who are dying everyday? And why are attacks of Arab people called "terrorism" and American or Israeli attacks are not? All of them are terrorist acts
Do I feel safe? Look on this forum. Half the people here seem to think the US somehow brought this on us. What kind of twisted world do we live in where people make excuses for such barbarism? In your zeal to smugly throw darts at the US, look in the mirror. Are you happy with what you see?
I wish I could ask the terrorists and their supporters what they believe the 9/11 attacks solved. Is life any better for ordinary Muslims because 3,000 Americans were killed? Imagine if the young men who committed this horrible crime had focused their energy and intelligence on reforming and improving their societies. Instead, they wasted their talents and solved nothing at all. It's an absurd strategy.
Washington, DC, USA
We should never forget the absolute horror of that day. Both those who were killed and those who survived are brave, brave people and we will never forget that. Why anyone would want to inflict such pain is inexplicable. We need to remember this event, but at the same time move forward. Thank God for the strength to carry on.
I hope those of you that now criticize the US never ever have to experience a 9/11/01 personally. We New Yorkers live it daily. All I can say is thank you to the heroes and we will never forget.
New York, US
Let us rejoice and remember all those who lost their lives on September 11th. Not just today, the day of the second anniversary but for everyday of the year, for your memory will never be forgotten in our minds. May God bless you all and may you all rest in peace for eternity.
Mandip Shergill, London, UK
After 11/9 the US had the chance to be a bully or a peace maker, it chose to be a bully to the detriment of us all. What way is that to honour the memories of those who died? Now we have the deaths of innocent Iraqis and Afghans on our hands, how does this make us better than Osama bin Laden and how many more will Bush kill before he is satisfied?
J Forbes, Scotland
11 September 1979 is a date of US-backed military coup in Chile, which installed Pinochet in power and cost thousands of human lives (many people tortured to death, shot, thrown out of helicopters to sea, or simply disappeared). Honour to their memory and to the memory of other thousands killed in South America.
Please just remember all those lives lost on 9-11.
AND remember the children without a mum or dad never to cuddle them ever again.
Mark Smith, London Firefighter,
Post 9/11 is an exciting time. Two ruthless, murderous regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan have been eliminated and there are chances for real change in that part of the world - freedom and prosperity that those countries' citizens have never known. I am proud that President Bush has not been cowed by his critics and the UN with its own political agenda and has eliminated those two regimes. Eventually a lot of Muslims and European pacifists will appreciate those actions.
Yes, this was a sad event - but surely all can see that the events since have been much more tragic from a world perspective? The US has flouted opinion and law with brutal and excessive attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan - those who claim Just revenge make me sad that my vote is worth the same as theirs. Also the arrogant irrelevant comment about America being the "cultural powerhouse" of the world just makes me smile - the culture in Afghanistan stretched back several thousand years before being tampled by a comparatively fledgling arrogant nation. Yes, mourn the dead - but have some respect for the living.
It's terrible what happened two years ago. I feel really sorry for the family and friends who lost someone in such conditions. I think the American people will never feel safe in their own country again. For a long time Americans felt like the unbreakable, I'm afraid it is no longer like that. Nothing justified war, NOTHING. I just think that 9/11 was the effect of many causes that America have made in the past, war, war and again war. So far USA haven't stopped the bad cycle... and I'm afraid it might happened again if the American people don't stand up for themselves. Violence only brings violence and so does vengeance.
Linda, Ireland, Dublin
The key to understanding America's reaction to 9/11 is this: The United States has not experiences a foreign invasion since the Revolutionary War. Some Americans remember WWII and rationing, some remember Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. 9/11 happened on American soil on television and scared a lot of people stiff. The fallout of 9/11 has been more violence and more death and more invasions. A vindictive act will not heal a vindictive act. And, as ever, history will repeat itself over and over.
More innocent people have died in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hands of the Americans than did on Sept. 11. That day was horrendous - but Bush and Blair are using it to ram through their frightening imperialist aims. The lesson from September 11 should have been to create a world without war or poverty. Instead we have endless carnage. George Bush sadly is Bin Laden with bigger weapons
Neil Rogall, UK
I watched this terrible even on TV. I was horrified by the extent of destruction to human life. Although I lived through the troubles in Northern Ireland, I have never seen anything to this extent. I think ground zero should be left as it is, or better still the decision regarding its redevelopment should be left up to the relatives of those who died.
Jo, Northern Ireland
Although the pain and suffering of the victims was and is shocking, I feel that the irrational linkage of the event to Iraq in some way does a disservice to the sad memory of 9-11. It is almost as if the US had a childish need to lash out and hurt someone as they had been hurt. I tried to stop this once I was out of the school playground, so why do we follow leaders that think the tactics of the playground rather than the considered reaction of adulthood? If we reacted in the way the US and UK governments have as individuals in the street, we would be condemned as criminals.
David Brearley, UK
As a liberal American before 9/11, I would have been shocked about bombing the Taliban to get at Al Qaeda. After 9/11, my mind has been changed. If a terrorist would kill me for no other reason than where I live, we have no choice but to go after them. That doesn't mean that the Bush Administration has carte blanche to invade any country, but I agree with the statement "You are either with us or you are with the terrorists". That does not mean that if you disagree with America you are a terrorist (i.e. France & Germany), but if you provide shelter, money, etc. - you are fair game. Hopefully this "War on Terror" will end soon...
I think that a memorial on the "footprints" of the two towers should be developed. On the other areas of the WTC property, They should rebuild the twin towers with whatever structural improvements deemed necessary. The skyline needs to be restored.
Nancy, Washington DC, USA
I lost co-workers in the Pentagon on September 11th. The pain has been real; the resolve for victory, unrelenting.
If anything has surprised me, it has been America's restraint since the attacks. After losing over 3,000 civilians, many Americans would have been happy to wipe Afghanistan, Iraq, or any other threat off the face of the earth. That we attack our enemies judiciously with the goal of planting the seeds of democracy where nothing but fear and murder was known before is remarkable.
Bill, Virginia, USA
A big part of the tragedy to me is that this act of terrorism convinced Americans to give up their rights and freedoms voluntarily. Likewise, our foreign policy now seems bent on making the world more dangerous for Americans to live in. Osama bin Laden must be laughing with glee; he got far more from his investment than he ever bargained for.
The western powers, led by the US, have directly and indirectly supported dictatorships throughout the Arab world for more then a half-century. Allowing oil rich states to fall into the chaos, which often precedes the evolution to stable democracy is deemed overly risky to the steady flow of oil into the world economy. As a result, pro-west dictatorships are supported and a blind eye turned toward Islamic fundamentalism, which is seen as a necessary evil for the venting of popular frustration amongst the masses living in those Arab states. Terrorism is the price paid for a cheap, consistent flow of oil, and most westerners are either unaware or unwilling to admit that. The US involvement in Iraq is an attempt to install a democracy in the Middle East with the hope that the region can be transitioned quickly and without an interruption to the lifeblood of the global economy.
US (ex Switzerland)
The most interesting effect of September 11 was the sense of isolation it gave to the United States - that there are dangerous enemies abroad and that its allies are not really reliable. Many overseas have patted themselves on the back about how sympathetic they were to the United States after September 11 until the brutish Americans invaded Iraq and cost themselves that sympathy. However, what most forget is that at the time how many, especially Europeans, claimed that America got what it deserved and how the war in Afghanistan would only make things worse. In fact, beyond condolence books, flowers and sympathy cards, Americans found the world anything but sympathetic, and after September 11, they are no longer willing to trust their security to an ephemeral international community whose "sympathy" America could gain only at the cost of 3,000 dead.
James E. Geoffrey II,
I was looking out my office window when the second plane hit the World Trade Center. Everyday, I would walk into work and admire our skyline. Now, it is completely different - it is weak and it is hurting. I must say that when I first saw all the plans to rebuild, none of them satisfied me because none of them were replacing the skyline we had lost. However, last night, I saw a show on Daniel Libeskind's design, and, for the first time since the attacks, I am optimistic about the way our skyline will look once again. I really do believe that this man has put a lot of attention into honouring both the past and the future, and I can only hope that the energy which comes out of this reconstruction will inspire both New Yorkers and the rest of the world to, once again, have hope for the future.
Jon Jannicola, NYC, USA
Yesterday was a perfect September day in New York. Such a day, however, now reminds me of that horrible day in 2001 where the weather was also perfect. Now I am unable to completely enjoy a beautiful fall day...
David Seastone, USA
As an Englishman and occasional Londoner, terrorism has been the unpleasant mood music that accompanied most of my Christmases. Sept 11th introduced Americans to this concept, and for a while I felt solidarity. But since then I have learnt my empathy was misplaced, for whilst we are "encouraged" by the US to peacefully resolve the "Irish problem", Americans believe only more violence can solve their problem, and still worse, some even ask the Irish "how goes the revolution?"
Connor morrow, UK
Why on earth should the world hate us "more now than before 9/11"? Do people actually think that the US would stand by and do nothing about terrorism after 3,000 people die on our own soil? We have a right to go after those who were involved and give them a taste of justice. As an American, I do not care how the rest of the world feels about what we are doing. September 11th didn't happen in their country.
Do not so readily blame the American people for the actions of American companies and certain members of the American government. While we are proud to have the right to choose the people who represent our views, we cannot be held responsible for their every action. Please remember that those killed on September 11th were not trying to cover the world in American consumerism or wage wars on Islamic countries. They were people living their lives who did not ask to be killed. As a member of a military family, let me assure you that those killed at the Pentagon were also just people, doing their jobs, without malice. They were loved and shall be missed.
I was twelve yrs old and at school when the attacks happened. Somehow, news got out and many of the students were terrified until we heard the actual story, and even then the pain didn't go away, especially when I found out my fathers co workers had died in one of the crashed planes. Based on the fear we all felt, I can only imagine the suffering of the families who were directly involved, and they should be the ones to choose what happens to the site of the former WTC.
Boston, United States
The morning I woke to see the twin towers collapse on the news is one I will never forget, it really is the most horrifying attack and loss of life. I know I will never feel safe again like many others, I have a four year old son and it brings tears to my eyes to even imagine what it will now be like for him growing up in a world where such things can and do take place.
I watched a documentary on 9/11 this past weekend and I cried again just like the day it happened. To see the pain in everyone's eyes was unimaginable. God Bless every person that was affected by this. It tears my heart to pieces to think this could ever happen anywhere. I can't imagine how our world has come to this. There is a comment from Ryan, USA (below) whose statement had a profound affect on me. There still is good in this world and we all need to find it and embrace it - for we truly don't know when it may end. God bless all the victims and their families and I wish you all a better tomorrow. Time is the only thing that will ease your pain, although it will never heal it completely I hope you will all find happiness in your own lives again.
I am deeply concerned for the people on here who think it was America's foreign policies that caused 9/11. If you would just get off of your anti-America stand, and think for once. You would know that America was attacked because we are America. We are the envy of the entire world. We are the economic, cultural, and military powerhouse of Earth. If you were some hateful militant living in a cave, who would you want to attack? And if you want to call my comment arrogant, then go ahead and do so.
Justin Hughes, United States
As a former resident of New York City I looked at the television reports of the attacks in an almost state of shock; if I had not known the area, with its thousands of people, the video reports could have seemed as a horror movie. My thoughts were for many days with my old friends in NYC and trying to get in touch with them; I also had to think on how their perception of life would be change by the terror attack.
New Yorkers, to me, always made me feel at home; for 25 years I lived there and in all my travels I still haven't found a city with such a vibrant cultural, political, and economic life. No, it was not perfect, but I always will feel myself as being, from head to toe, a "Latin from Manhattan". Viva New York! Out with Bush!
Aristides Garcia, The Netherlands
From the subsequent events after the WTC attacks, one begins to see almost exactly why the terrorists did what they did. This so-called 'War against terrorism' only goes to show the complete lack of sensitivity of the general American population to anything that does not affect them directly. Americans are so scared now that they do not seem to mind having other people's rights trampled on so they can sleep easy in their beds. Bush has not bothered to question why America is hated so much, he has not bothered to see that by waging a war on the rest of the world over the deaths of 3000 Americans he is indirectly stating that American lives are worth more than the lives of other people. Even though one sympathises with the innocent people who died in the attacks, I ask myself, who are he people that suffer most from the harmful US/UN sanctions, unfair trade, unjust wars and occupation and the selfishness of the developed world? They are the innocent children of the so-called Third World who are disadvantaged right from birth. Is it any wonder that they grow up (if they are lucky to survive that long) determined to right these wrongs in any way they can, even under the guise of Islamic extremism?
TJ, UK (Nigerian)
It was disheartening to see so many perish in the 911. I equally felt the same for the innocent Iraqis who perished in the war. Two wrongs can't make one right!
Is Sati really too ignorant and bigoted to see the difference between those who died in the twin towers and those who died in Iraq? Is al Qaeda expressing its sorrow and distress for the innocent lives lost on 9/11, or are they rejoicing because that was that their one and only aim? If the coalition's purpose had been to kill as many Iraqis as possible then, with all the weapons at its disposal, don't you think it could have done a much better job?
I travel quite a bit and have been "put out" by security procedures and searches. I do not mind that a bit, but I wonder if searching old ladies is the best we can do to protect ourselves and humankind against man's inhumanity to man.
Though I haven't been directly affected by the events of Sep 11, my views on security have certainly changed. So it can be concluded that no matter how much money is spent on security, if the foreign policies of a given country are unfair, it will always be a target for hate.
The events of 9/11 helped emphasize to me the belief that you should live every day as if it were your last, because you never truly know whether or not you'll be around to see tomorrow. It's very easy to take life for granted, and it's also very easy to forget, or ignore, the fact that someday each of us will die. So for me, 9/11 made me ask myself again, "When my time comes, will I be ready? Will I have squandered my life, or will I have lived the rest of my days to the fullest?"
The United States had the sympathy of the whole world on 11 September 2001. Two years later, the Bush administration has so recklessly squandered this sympathy and good will that America is more hated now than it was before 9/11. I can think of few sadder ways to betray those who died in the attacks.
Two deeply unpleasant ideologies - radical Islam and extreme right-wing Republicanism - clashed. We were told we had to pick sides. Most of the world continues to choose other paths altogether.
James Mackay, UK
Watching it on TV made me cry. I feel deeply for those who lost loved ones.
David Hilton, Hudds, UK
This raises an important question. Should any place where a human died be considered hallowed ground? The Pentagon was rebuilt. There are battlefields all over the world from years past that are now shopping malls or housing developments. Is a memorial enough? 16 acres is a lot of empty real estate in NYC. Perhaps the exact spots where the two towers stood should not be built upon but certainly something should be built on the other parts of the property.
I was three blocks away, when the towers fell. I was trying to get my marriage licence with my fiancé. A friend of ours was killed. His family sill have nothing to bury. Two years on, the anxiety is still there - even though we go on with our lives. For me, it's the crisp blue sky with the first chills of Autumn in the air, that bring sadness and dread. So sad. So determined though, not to allow the Bush Govt. to use our anxiety and pain to ram their agenda through. That, more than anything else, pains so many of us in NYC.
It is still incomprehensible. Like watching the film of the murder of JFK, it is truly horrifying still. I agree that the site should not be corporately rebuilt but dedicated to those who died, those who survived and those who will never be the same again. It should also serve as reminder that love is a greater legacy to leave than hate.
Though the events two years ago were undoubtedly a tragedy for those involved and their families I am uncomfortable in placing a greater value in the human life lost then as compared to the millions of innocent people who die from starvation, disease and war every year. If three thousand lives lost in New York is 'enough' to start a war costing 100s of billions of dollars, why is the plight of so many others elsewhere only worth relatively little? More starkly, were the civilian lives lost in Afghanistan and Iraq 'cheaper' than those of Americans?
I sympathise deeply with relatives and friends of those killed on 11/9/2001 who have never been able to find the remains of their loved ones to have a "proper" burial...Is it really fitting to build a new office block on the very place where the victims are at rest? Would a beautiful garden and fittingly tasteful monument to those who died not be more apt?
I was there on 9/11 as the fist plane hit the North Tower right above me. Knew some of the people who were killed. Everyday I think about what happened, yet I want to rebuild the as quickly as possible. We cannot live in fear, but we can learn from the past. For those who think there rights have been violated, that's just a reality that exists. Don't blame the US government for that, blame the people who caused the attack. For those who think this is an American problem, just ask the Australian's in Bali or the Saudi civilians killed a few months ago. These terrorist are simply evil people and need to be wiped off the face of the earth. Period.
Mike Daly, USA
The question as to why these attacks happened appears not to be addressed by the US. While no one can deny that this was the most single horrific event in post WW2 history, it has not made the US sit up and wonder what they are doing to make people react so horrendously. Terrorism will only be defeated if the US and its allies stop interfering, exploiting and invading the poorer and most vulnerable countries and be prepared to understand their cultures and show some respect instead of contempt.
While in South Africa, I watched live on TV as the second plane hit the WTC - thousands of innocent people were killed. I cannot understand those who find the war on terrorism led by the US uncomfortable. There are evil creatures out there. The only solution is to root them out.
Isn't it about time Britain concentrated much more on solving problems and improving so many things "at home", which are in desperate need of attention, instead of behaving like an American satellite? Why can't we leave the U.S. to solve the many situations that they have largely caused themselves ? Is it too late to believe that we can BE somebody - instead of just an echo of somebody else ?
I walked past the WTC site last month during a trip to New York. Despite being horrified by what I saw on TV two years ago, actually seeing that site with my own eyes was a surreal and empty experience. Only those people who were there that day can fully understand the horror of it all. They should be the ones to decide what happens with the site.
There should be a suitable memorial for the victims but the WTC must be rebuilt. Anyone who has seen the empty space in the skyline knows that the American psyche needs to feel that we have overcome this tragedy by seeing those buildings put back the way they were. None of the current plans are acceptable because the architects are clamouring to make a name for themselves instead of trying to rebuild what was lost.
I had a relative who died in the attack, among other friends and relatives affected, as I come from NY. Nonetheless I agree with Michael Meacher's article in the Guardian today - that there is a prima facie case for Bush and his company to answer. Public safety would be better protected by new political leadership in the countries in which I live and vote.
Adam G, UK/USA
The most fitting tribute to the victims of Sept 11 is a worldwide effort to eliminate the evil of terrorism. In particular, those who are supposed to benefit from these atrocities should say loud and clear that they absolutely reject the misery that is caused in their name.
Yes, there is more bigotry and racism in the US. Even the smallest of problems are blamed on September 11.
On a personal note, I am now stopped at customs and questioned. It seems I have been identified! Identified as what I ask? I am an American, a professor of law, have a slightly unusual name and at a stretch I look like I could be from the Middle East. A number of my friends have either left or are planning to leave the US. My father who is 75, is constantly worried and wants me to leave the US - he himself has moved to Europe.
I was in New York that day and still today I cannot believe what happened, maybe because I cannot understand why there is so much hatred in this world.
The main impact the world-shattering carnage of 9/11 has inflicted on the world is the change in our perception of our own vulnerability. Two years ago we were all deeply convinced that nothing could threaten such a power as the US. We were proved wrong. The 2001 carnage was not only a wake-up call for American citizens. The whole world had to acknowledge that none of us is safe so long as terrorists are operating. Yet we cannot forget that this fatal September day also gave us hope. And that is the firm belief that the war on terror will carry on and that there are undeterred people who fight for our security. Maybe the second anniversary of this day will open our eyes once again and help us admit that the US administration is doing the right thing.
Agnieszka Idzik, Jaslo, Poland
The honest truth is that every soul living in the free world is affected by the September 11 attack. No-one feels it is as safe as it used to be. No matter how small or how big the magnitude, a sense of insecurity has enveloped the entire free world.
Agha Ata, USA
September 11 events have reshaped my view of the world. I am still scared to travel by air. Until that fateful day, I always thought North America was the safest place in the world.
I think the events of 9/11 two years ago has affected our whole country. We have the Patriot Act now, and precious rights are in jeopardy. Our Constitution is on the line, as protections against such things as unlawful searches, wiretaps, computer taps, have diminished.
Yes, it is a different world out there for everyone in the US. A scarier one.
Lisa Stiller, USA
I think there should be a national referendum about the rebuilding of the WTC. Let all Americans have a voice in what is to be done. That will show the world what democracy is all about.
Memories of 9/11 for me are very faint, almost forgotten. Still, I believe the world we live in is more dangerous than ever, and I keep my eyes open for any more terrorist threats. In addition to concerns about my safety, I'm worried that the war on terror may continue throughout my lifetime without end.
Anthony, Chicago, IL, USA
I used to live in NYC and would go to the Mezzanine level on a regular basis to the TKTS booth to get Broadway tickets. I ate at the restaurant at the top of the WTC. I brought family and friends to the top of the WTC for a view of NYC. I cannot imagine leaving that space empty. Build a marvellous memorial to those who died but by all means, rebuild and make it bigger and better than what was there before!
Allison T, Virginia Beach, VA, USA
9/11/01 changed life in America forever. Thousands of innocent lives were ended senselessly, countless children were orphaned, proud symbols of America's strength were destroyed, the world's economy was thrown into peril and the sense of security and optimism that we all took for granted was called into question. Those who committed the attacks were not Muslims, Arabs or even human beings but rather barbaric terrorists. Their names are not worth being recalled, their maker is dealing with them appropriately. But for us that remain, what have we learned from that day? We've learned that life is a gift to be treasured and valued.
I for one will no longer travel to any Islamic countries, not so much out of fear, but more due to the fact that I don't want my tourist money being used to support nations with anti-western agendas. I'll go instead to countries that see tourism as a benefit rather than a target for terrorism.
The awful events of September 11th undoubtedly affected everyone in some way. I certainly do not feel as safe as before the attacks.
I think Tony Blair's decision to jump on Bush's bandwagon has made us more vulnerable than before. The US is seen to be the epitome of the successful West - by joining them in war I feel we've joined that banner.
As for redeveloping the site of the WTC, it is wrong. Thousands of people lost their lives in act of outstanding cowardice against innocent citizens of peacetime. To build on the site would prove that corporate greed and profit was more important than the memories of the victims. The only development that is acceptable is a park and tasteful, small memorial.