VOA received an outpouring of comments from all around the world on the occasion of the first anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, and many shows included comments from listeners about their thoughts concerning the one year anniversary throughout their broadcast day. Here are some excerpts, spelling and punctuation left as is:
To Music Mix:
From Malawi: One year has passed still the wounds of the event will still go on. It will take time for the wounds to heal. I tried to imagine how many people died on that day and still I can't believe. Talk of pilots and innocent people travelling in those plane. Talk of those people in the building whose bodies may not have been discovered. Talk of those firemen who first rushed to the scene to save others. Everyone who has got a heart will have that passion to remember the victims of 9.11.
From Iran: I live in Iran and I have been a big fan of voa for 24 years. voa has been the media that has really changed my life and has kept me going all these years.9/11 was the most shocking news I heard about America in these 24 years. I hope that it never happens again.Thank you very much and god bless America and all of you.
From Kigali: Personally, I think the US met 9/11 with quite heroistic spirit it is well known for (Pearl Habor). I reaaly dont think the perps got the results they wanted. The BIG BROTHER stood courageously in one of the greatest tragedy in its history. Bravo stars.
These comments were among those that came to Special English:
A listener in Cambodia wrote: “It’s an important fact that the two buildings and a part of the Pentagon have already fallen … but …democracy is still alive and even getting stronger.”
“I’m Egyptian and Muslim. I want to say that all Egyptians (Muslims, Christians and Jews) condemn these killings. God help you, God help America.”
A listener in Somalia wrote, “We extend our heartfelt sympathy to you during this period of hellish tragedy that occurred to the American people in [the] New York and Washington attack.”
One listener in Costa Rica wrote reminding us that courage and wisdom cannot be separated: “…Have for the present courage in front of the sadness, and a great wisdom when you will answer your enemies.”
Some messages came directly to the voanews.com website:
From India: I express my deep sympathies to all Americans, and all those who lost their dear and near. I salute all the brave rescuers and fire fighters who fearlessly confronted this unexpected tragedy. I salute the VOA , especially 'Talk To America' for their courage to air the programme as per schedule on that fatefull day - recieving telephone calls from all around the world - even as threat of another terrorist attack loomed large. I salute finally , the people of the United States for admirably carrying the legacy of their nation's founding fathers - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin [to name the few]- with courage and unity in the time of adversity.
From China: Pursuit of freedom, dignity and happiness is the common and top goal of all human kind. There is old Chinese saying which says "gangsters come from poverty-stricken areas". It is absolutely right and necessary for America to lead the international coalition to strike any kinds of terrorism, but at the same time, as largest economic power, America should also continue to help other developing countries, as America is doing in some African countries, to get rid of poverty, and idealism differences should not influence the global development and cooperation, and I believe America would bear the commitment to lead to carry out global sustainable development and prosperity which is good to all!
From Cambodia: I am writing to you from Cambodia on my nation's behalf, as the whole, and on my own, in particular, to express and share my feeling of deepest sympathy, grief and condolence from the bottom of our hearts with all individuals and families of the attacks' victims.
And to other VOA programs:
From a 4th year student at Moscow University: There are no differences between Russians and Americans; there is only a difference between our common victory and our common defeat. And we stand together today in the face of a terrible threat, as we were together 60 years ago in the face of an equally great evil, and we will remain together so long as justice and liberty demand it.
From China: I couldn’t help crying when I saw the gruesome scene in the 9.11 attack on your country. That’s a tremendous tragedy for America and her people. But I’m deeply convinced that the great American people will stand up with great courage from the grief as they did in the last 200 years. God bless America.
From Nigeria: I want to suggest that 9/11 should not be celebrated as a holiday as this would mean victory for the terrorist who will boast of changing American Calendar. To all American and 8 Nigerian families who lost their loved ones, I pexress my sympathy and wish to state in the words of President Bush that “good will prevail over evil”.
From Rwanda: We are mourning all of those innocent victims in the W.T.C. as well as the Pentagon, and the passenger aircraft and others. We are praying for the peace and request you to take revenge against the terrorism…. We, Rwandese and myself will never forget 11th September 2001 because it has touched our hearts.
UK: What led to Sept. 11 blast is still very much with us – the middle-east crises. The crises has on since time immemorial. Why then is it escalating presently? Let Bush Re-examine his middle-east policy with a view to entre into dialog with major actors. Bush should ask Carter & Clinton how they managed the crises…. It doe not appear as if Bush really understand the thinking of an average Arab.
From China: So far as I know, there are severl Chinese were dead during September 11th attack. I was in sorrow, not only for Chinese but also for all the human beings. Because we are all human beings, I do not want to see killing, illness and bitterness. God bless us!!!!