September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story:Being in Australia, it was late at night when the news first broke. MUm and I were watching the TV and the news of the first plane hitting scrolled across the bottom of the screen. At first we thought it was an accident. A few minutes later we knew it wasn't because the news of the second plane hitting came through. Every channel went to cover what was happening. We watched for a few hours before mum went to bed, she just could watch it anymore. I don't know why I stayed up.

I watched it all night until I had to go to work. I cried the whole night. After years of seeing disaster movies you'd think we'd all be used to images like these but there's something very horrifying about knowing they are real people and they really are dying. But the most heart wrenching moment wasn't seeing the planes go in, or seeing the people jump from the building with no hope of reaching the ground safely. The most emotive image was that of a woman standing in the middle of the street covered in dust and smoke, crying for her friends and maybe relatives who were still in the WTC buildings.

I was working at a primary school teaching year two as part of my teaching degree. I got to school having had no sleep and had to discuss with the other teachers what we were going to tell the children, if we were going to make a whole lesson of it or just let them ask whatever they needed to in their own time.

The teacher whose class I was on and I decided we'd just have a bit of a discussion with the class, nothing too heavy, after all they were only seven years old. Then we gave them a few minutes to draw or write what they felt, or they could come and ask us questions. One boy's parents knew someone who worked in one of the towers but he didn't really grasp the enormity of the situation, he drew a really good picture though.

Later that day we had an assembly because it was Education Week and the classes were all putting on performances for the parents. The principal made a nice speech and we had a minutes silence.

We've had our own tragedies since then, with the events in Bali bringing the threat of terrorism very close to home, but we will never forget the tragedy of September 11 as that was our wake-up call.

It is up to us, as a global community to come together to stand up to these cowards who seek to destroy what is different from themselves. We should strive to make the world a place of understanding and acceptance, no matter what a persons race, religious beliefs or background. We are all one race, the human race. We should embrace diversity within our countries and within our communities. We need to teach ourselves about different cultures because ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds intolerance.

It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, or why you do it. If you can say that you've tried your best to accept people for who they are rather than the preconceptions you may have about them or their background, then you can be proud of yourself because it takes intelligence to see through the preconceptions.

Let every day be a reminder of the greatness of the diversity we enjoy in being part of this global community and that no matter how many attacks we survive, no matter how many wars we fight, no persons is worth as much dead as alive.

Make every day the best it can be by doing some good deed, whether it's opening the door for someone with their hands full or saving someones life.

Cherish every day as if it's your last and tell your partner you love them, make peace with your family, or do something you might never do otherwise.

view more information about this object