This is Mary Tillotson.
And this is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program,
EXPLORATIONS. One year ago, the United States suffered the worst
terrorist attack in American history. There are many stories
being told about that day and its effects. Today, we will tell
about messages from some of you, our listeners. We will also
tell how one company is dealing with the effects of September
One year ago, Islamist terrorists hijacked two passenger airplanes
and flew them into the World Trade Center in New York City.
The two huge buildings were destroyed. Another hijacked plane
struck and damaged the Defense Department headquarters near
Washington, D.C. Still another hijacked plane crashed near Shanksville,
The events of September eleventh did not only affect Americans.
The attacks united people around the world in sympathy for the
families and friends of those who were killed. Millions of people
in all areas of the world were touched by the events of that
People who were not Americans were also killed in the attacks.
The media company C-N-N keeps records of the victims of the
attacks. Almost five-hundred foreigners were among the more
than three-thousand people who lost their lives September eleventh.
They were citizens of at least thirteen foreign countries. They
were in the World Trade Center and on the airplanes that crashed.
Soon after the attacks, expressions of sympathy from all around
the world reached those of us working in VOA Special English.
Hundreds of letters and e-mails offered support for the American
people and denounced terrorism. We received messages such as
this one from France: ¡°Deeply in my heart, I am American
now. I pray for all the victims as if they were cherished friends.¡±
Among the World Trade Center victims: hundreds of firefighters,
police officers and other rescuers.
Listeners of many cultures and religions wanted to express
their sympathy. One listener wrote: ¡°I¡¯m
Egyptian and Muslim. I want to say that all Egyptians (Muslims,
Christians and Jews) condemn these killings. God help you, God
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.¡±
Still others pointed to the important ideas that America represents
to them. A listener in Cambodia wrote us: ¡°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.¡±
Some listeners who have experienced the effects of terrorism
A listener in Spain wrote that the United States should ¡°try
not to cause suffering to civilian populations, because the
medicine will be worse than the sickness.¡± He
said that the Spanish people have an understanding of terrorism
from thirty years of fighting the separatist group ETA.
One listener in England wrote: ¡°I know you¡¦will
have thousands of messages like this but, as a victim of I-R-A
attacks, I know what it feels like. My prayers are with your
Terrorist attacks are not new, but the huge size of the September
eleventh event was something never seen before. Many people
from very different cultures wrote saying they felt a new connection
A listener in China wrote: ¡°I am shocked at the
news about the terrorist attacks. I am really worried about
many citizens¡¯ lives. They and I may be strangers
to each other, but we are human beings with the same feelings,
life, and love of the world.¡±
Radio, television and the press throughout the world covered
every detail of the attacks and their results. Video recordings
of the World Trade Center buildings burning and then falling
were broadcast continuously for a long time ? even days after
New York City and Washington, D-C, are among the largest media
centers in the world. This meant that the attacks and their
effects were broadcast to the whole world as they were happening.
The pictures and descriptions affected almost everyone who
saw them. Many messages from listeners offered friendship and
support that helped us get through a difficult time.
A listener in Tajikistan wrote, ¡°It was really horrible
to hear that bad news about the crashes of planes and buildings
in New York and about the death of thousands of people. Please
accept our deep feelings and sympathy. We are with you dear
The World Trade Center not only represented American economic
power, but also international business cooperation. Businesses
and governments of many countries had offices in the World Trade
Center. The attack affected people all over the world not only
economically, but personally.
The greatest loss of life on September eleventh was not among
a group of rescue workers. It was a business. Cantor Fitzgerald
occupied five floors in the north building of the World Trade
Center. Those floors were hit almost directly by American Airlines
Flight Eleven, a passenger airplane that carried about ninety
Cantor Fitzgerald is a financial company. It trades certain
investments. It creates money-making instruments that are highly
complex. Cantor Fitzgerald also has developed services to trade
what are called ¡°greenhouse gas credits.¡±
These kinds of credits are required by the international environmental
agreement, the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. The credits
are traded among countries that have agreed to the Kyoto Protocol.
The United States is not one of them.
The most recent reports show that six-hundred-fifty-eight workers
at Cantor Fitzgerald were killed on September eleventh. About
one-thousand people worked for the company in its New York offices.
The business could have failed because of the loss of sixty-five
percent of its employees. However, the chairman of the company,
Howard Lutnick, and other officials wanted everyone to know
that the company had survived the attack and still was strong.
In May of this year, Cantor Fitzgerald started a television
campaign. The four-million dollar campaign was meant to show
that the company was open for business. In it, current employees
and survivors of the September eleventh attacks spoke about
the event and its effects.
The television campaign shows how the workers at Cantor Fitzgerald
want to move to the future by connecting with the past. Each
brief television presentation shows an employee explaining his
or her reaction to the loss of friends.
The Cantor Fitzgerald employees seem to express the need to
continue on with life even after experiencing a tragic event.
In one presentation, employee Chris Crosby says, ¡°Everyone
who I lost would have said ¡®go to work.¡¯¡±
Phil Marber says the victims he worked with would demand that
the survivors move forward. He says, ¡°Every single
one of them would have wanted us to be rebuilding.¡±
Joe Noviello says, ¡°There is only one thing that
we could do¡¦restore what is ours.¡±
Some people have criticized Cantor Fitzgerald for using the
September eleventh attack as part of a television campaign.
However, the company says it has made a great effort to help
support the families of the victims by providing health care
and sharing profits. The company says it also is trying to make
sure that it is successful in the future.
The television campaign by Cantor Fitzgerald shows survivors
dealing with the tragic events of one year ago. It is part of
a national effort to move to the future.
Many of the stories about the September Eleventh attacks and
their worldwide effects are evidence of some of the best human
qualities. The employees of Cantor Fitzgerald showed how human
nature seeks to return to normal. They decided that returning
to work was the best way they could honor their friends who
died in the attack.
Messages from Special English listeners show the strong links
between people of different countries, religions and cultures.
A listener in China expressed it this way, ¡°I think
all our world is a big family, so we should live peacefully.¡±
This Special English program was written by Mario Ritter and
produced by George Grow. This is Steve Ember.
And this is Mary Tillotson. Listen again next week for another
EXPLORATIONS program on the Voice of America.
This V-O-A Explorations Report is published
courtesy of VOAnews.com