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Global Business Journalism reporters remember the September 11 attacks that changed their childhoods

Natalie Meyer captured this image of the World Trade Center during her family holiday in New York.

The September 11 attacks targeted the symbols of American economic and military might: the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But the death and destruction wrought by the September 11 hijackers resonated far beyond the United States.

Most current Global Business Journalism students were young children on September 11, 2001. That day changed their young lives and has stayed with them. On this 20th anniversary of the attacks, two veterans of the Global Business Journalism program shared their reflections on New York before, during and after attacks.

Natalie Meyer, from Australia, was the 2021 valedictorian of the Global Business Journalism program. She is now general manager of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AmCham), based in Perth.

Diana Li (Li Ke), from China, is a master's student at New York University. She prepared her video report in Chinese.


Natalie Meyer drew this illustration of herself and the Statue of Liberty during a pre-9/11 visit to New York.


Global Business Journalism graduate

I was 8 years old when I went on a family holiday to the U.S.

For three weeks we road tripped up the East Coast, from Miami to New York.

I remember being impressed by the confident people we met along the way. They called me “Nadalie” and exuded the kind of energy, positivity, friendliness and charm that I’d seen in movies.

America was full of contrasts, from the swamps of the Everglades to the intensity, pace, and vibrancy of New York city.

I was mesmerized.

I recall being on a ferry to Ellis Island, looking at the Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers with my dad and brother, as my mom documented the journey on camera. Later that year, this would be the source of inspiration for my school art project.

Mid-flight on the way home to South Africa, I went to meet the pilot in the cockpit…something which was so common in those days.

These memories are part of a special time capsule in my mind: of childhood and of America pre-2001.

With deep sympathy I can only imagine the terror and devastation that so many Americans and others in New York felt on that day 20 years ago today. Those who lost their lives, their families and affected communities are in our thoughts today in particular as we remember the 11th of September.

Lest we forget 9/11 🌹

An 8-year-old tourist's view: The Twin Towers loom large behind the Statute of Liberty in the days before September 11, 2001. (Photograph by Natalie Meyer)


Video by Diana Li

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