This week the topic is ‘Where were you and what did you do when you heard about the 9/11 attacks? What did you do to move on?’
I was driving my then 16 year old son home from school when I first heard the news on the car radio, as of course our time zone is several hours ahead here in the UK. My husband was at that precise time on a flight to Cleveland, Ohio. We were both stunned, and I pulled over onto a verge so that we could listen more easily to the breaking news. My son instantly asked me what was going to happen to his dad, but of course I couldn’t answer him.
When we arrived home we turned on the TV, which had blanket coverage of the disaster. American air space was closed, and we looked on in horror at the unfolding story. It wasn’t until the following day that Sam managed to phone to let me know his flight had been diverted to a small airport at St. John’s in Newfoundland, along with about 27 other jumbo jets. He stayed in the town for a week before flying back to the UK, receiving free phone calls, free hotel accommodation and free meals, and still talks about his stay to this day and how generous the people of St. John’s were to the sudden influx of travellers.
Later in the year it was time for him to go back to Cleveland to have another go at finishing the business trip. I didn’t want him to go and had visions of a further disaster, but I knew that nothing would keep Sam from his work. He flew out to Cleveland and home again without incident. Since then he has had hundreds of flights, indeed just at this moment he is in India on business, but I still have a nagging worry at the back of my mind every time he has to fly, and always tell him to take care. It’s good for him not to become too complacent!
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