During the fateful day of 9/11, I was an American studying abroad in Sydney, Australia. It was so hard to be so far from home and worrying about my dear friends living and working near the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I received comfort and caring from complete strangers on the other side of the world and was warmed by the kindness of my classmates from around the world! I will never forget the outpouring of love, support and prayers and the mounds of flowers and notes piled high near the US Consulate—where I’d once worked!
Coincidentally, I had a flight to Washington, DC the next day from Australia but, of course, it was cancelled. Instead, a friend and I decided to fly up to a small island in the Whitsunday’s in Queensland. While there, we decided to visit a tiny church on the island and attend their Sunday service. Although we were on the other side of the globe, I realized how this tragedy had united so many. As we went around and introduced ourselves, it was soon clear to me just what a small and connected world we’re living in! Each person seemed to have some kind of connection to the 9/11 tragedy—they knew someone who was missing, was worrying about the safety of some of their friends and family in NYC, and one woman even knew the pilot of the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. It was an intimate experience and for one moment we all shared our concerns, fears and prayers on that tiny island so far from my home