Reading some 9/11 stories and remembering. I woke up to the radio news telling of this terrible and fearsome thing – a plane flying into the WTC. Put on the television and CBC had full coverage. We got to watch the horror of the towers crumbling. So terrible and sad …but we are far away from this craziness. I was staying at my mom’s house in Whitehorse that night. She was still alive, struggling to get by each day after my dad’s death and the reality of her dementia becoming clearer to us. Went to work and the girls off to school. I was supervisor of the volunteer ambulance service for our small town. Had to call and make sure someone was on standby as planes were being diverted out of the US. Not likely it would affect us but had to make sure someone was paying attention in case our little airstrip was needed.
I was working with a woman who had been raped, helping her prepare for the upcoming trial when someone burst into the room to tell me there was an order to vacate downtown Whitehorse. A Korean Airlines 747 which had been on its was to Anchorage, Alaska was being diverted to Whitehorse and there was suspicion that it was hijacked. I’ve never heard what the truth is about this suspicion but I think it resulted from things the pilot said and the fact that he didn’t divert when he was ordered to. The plane was escorted into Whitehorse by US and Canadian fighter jets. I had to send that poor woman home on foot; there were no taxis to be found. Fortunately she lived close by. She declined my offer of a ride and set off. I can’t imagine how traumatic this event was for her.
I was on the road out of town, stopped at a red light, when the plane came in flying directly over my car, what seemed like just a few yards overhead. I thought “How crazy is this!” It was just so close.
At my mom’s, I found my kids and made sure everyone was safe. Then I got the call I was needed at the airport to help settle the people from the plane. Off to the airport where the passengers were finally allowed to debark. The hijacking scare wasn’t real but the people on the plane were confused, disoriented, scared and stunned. Some of them were from NYC and were frantic to know about their loved ones. They were all tired and hungry after a long flight from Asia. I listened to people’s stories and comforted them as much as I could until the buses arrived to take them to the hotel where they were to sleep for the next few nights.
My heart goes out to all those who were affected by the insanity of 9/11 and to those who lost loved ones. I know there were thousands of brave and heroic people who did what they could to help others.