It was a beautiful day, that day nineteen years ago. I lived in Stephenville, NL at the time. My car had some minor issue that needed attention and I had taken it down to my father-in-law to be repaired. I remember chatting with my mother-in-law and had gone into the living room to fetch something for her. The television was on and I was shocked at what I seen. (I think everyone remembers that horrific film footage of the planes crashing into the twin towers. It is an image that is forever seared into my memories). I remember calling out to her and we both stood and watched the news, deep in shock at what we were witnessing. Like many days that go down in history 9/11 will be remembered forever. People from around the globe worked at one or the other of the twin towers. After Pop had finished working on my care I went home and remained glued to the television for weeks as the horrors of the day was reported: the horrific stories out of NYC and also Pennsylvania.
I also remember the planes that had to land at our small, but international, airport. Newfoundland received planes from many places, all of them redirected from original flight plans that had been scheduled to land at American airports. It was a time of great stress and anxiety, especially initially as nobody knew where the pilots were from or why they had committed such atrocious deeds.
Stephenville, Gander, St. John’s. Goose Bay, among others had been home to many Americans during the Second World War when air force bases were built in these communities. Needless to say, many links were created during those times. Many Americans bought summer homes in the province and visited annually. My father worked for many years at the base in Stephenville and made many American friends there. Many would visit and join us for Sunday dinners. .
Besides our American friends, there were many Canadians who also died on that terrible day. So, yes, this is a heavy day. Here is a rundown of planes landed in airports across Newfoundland and Labrador:
There is a second reason this date is forever burnished into my brain. On this day in 2012 my nephew died from cancer, after a heroic battle. His brother had died suddenly in March of that same year from a brain aneurysm. So, today I honor my brave nephew as well as all those who perished on this day in 2001. May all souls Rest in Peace.