On the morning of September 12, 2001 Ballarat woke to the headline ‘Attack on U.S’.
Tears were shed and fear quickly spread.
It was a series of events that left every corner of the globe glued to any news they could find.
The United States had been rocketed by a number of terrorist attacks and the death toll soared as minutes passed.
No one knew at the time the full extent of the carnage that had occurred.
The attacks began on late September 11, Australian time. By this time most major newspapers across the country had already gone to print, that is except for The Courier.
With a late press run it was all hands on desks to deliver the devastating news to the community by the time they woke.
The Courier was the only major print edition to carry the story in print by morning.
Today we went back through the archives to find that edition and with it the horrific stories were once again read aloud.
“It was a scene of a nightmare”, began the front page story.
“Windows shattered. People were screaming and diving for cover. People walked around like ghosts, covered in dirt, weeping and wandering dazed,” an eyewitness had described the attack on the World Trade Centre which resulted in the collapse of the two 110-story towers.
“People were jumping out of windows. I guess they were trying to save themselves,” another eyewitness was quoted.
Terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Centre towers, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane was also hijacked and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers fought the hijakers on board.
Almost at the same time the first World Trade Centre tower collapsed, half and hour later the second followed.
Only six people inside the towers survived.
Hundreds of people were instantly killed, but the death toll continued to rise.
More than 3000 people lost their lives on what has been described the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbour was bombed in 1941.
Ballarat’s Noel Perry and his wife, Annamaree, were in New York on the day of the 9/11 attack and would have been inside the Twin Towers if they hadn't been delayed.
Speaking with The Courier in 2014, Mr Perry said it was a terrible loss of innocent human life, which those involved would never be able to forget.
"You never forget these things, they linger on in the back of you mind, asking why, why, why? But you never have the answer," Mr Perry said.
Fifteen years on and the destruction and horror still haunts most people.
Each person has a different memory of the moment they heard of the news.
But while 15 years have passed, memorials have been built, buildings repaired and the world moves forward, one thing remains – the world will not forgot those lost.
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