In the days and weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Youth Journalism International students kept churning out dispatches from around the world.
Gunjan Bansal, in India, wrote that “regular Indian life that seemed standing at peace a moment ago was given a rude shock with the hijacking of four passenger planes, the crushing of two giant towers to debris and the murder of thousands of souls.”
“The devastating news of the American attack shook everyone from to the core,” he wrote.
Kaishi Lee, a YJI student in Singapore, wrote that “halfway around the world, tears glistened in my eyes. I cried.”
Wen Ling Foo, a 14-year-old student in Singapore, told Lee, “I think that the terrorists are really inhumane to sacrifice so many innocent human lives just to reach their goal of revenge towards USA. I hope that everybody around the world will play a part to prevent terrorism. I also hope that the Americans will recover from this shock soon.”
High school student Abhishekh Arora of Delhi told Bansal that care had to be taken to punish only those responsible.
“The whole community can’t be blamed for the conduct of few men,” Aora said.
He said that Afghanistan “has been already been subjected to enormous suffering and now the attack by U.S.A, though [it] will wipe off Taliban from the globe, which they deserve,” could also “break the backs of innocent Afghanis.”
In Karachi, Pakistan, Syed A. Huda wrote of the bitterness growing between India and his native land following the terrorist attack.
A medical student, Samra Ahmad, told him, “The less fortunate who are trying to keep the roofs over their heads in one piece now have to worry about whether they’ll have a roof there at all.”
Shortly after 9/11, and long before American forces killed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, Huda wrote that it probably wouldn’t matter whether he lived or died.
He said the image of that “snake-like sneering face will most probably remain transfixed in our minds” and, at the same time, he’ll stick in “the heart of every Al-Qaeda member, supporting them, praying with them and glorifying the idea of being a martyr.”
Perhaps a bit of good came out of the attacks, too.
A year after 9/11, YJI’s Kristine Millard, who lives in Canada, wrote that because of them “relationships of families, friends, and even strangers have grown closer. We all feel a piece of each other’s pain, even if we did not lose a loved one.”
“This is a bond that everyone can share, and brings people together,” she wrote.