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One more reader, Lisa Woerly, was on a plane on 9/11, heading from Paris to Omaha.
Hers was one of 38 flights diverted to Gander International Airport in Newfoundland, Canada, when the U. closed its airspace in response to the attacks: I remember being about 3 hours into our flight when I felt the plane change directions. I remember looking at the person across the aisle from me, and we both had a look of confusion on our faces.
I also got an outsiders view of the events and did not understand why people suddenly seemed to love Bush and were buying so many American flags.
Why were they singing “God Bless America” at baseball games?
Soon, the pilot came on the intercom, telling us only that there was a problem and we were going to land in Gander. Once we finally landed, we still didn’t know what was going on, just that we had attempted to fly back to Paris and were denied.
Then we had headed to Greenland but were denied that entry as well. The people of Gander rallied, feeding us three meals a day and opening their homes for us to shower. I walked to and from Wal-Mart numerous times each day for something to do.
He didn’t believe in the war, he was a conscientious objector. The image of those adults circled around the flag will forever be in my memory.
We spent the night with Taliban guarding our guesthouse (sitting in the roof with AK47s) who then escorted us to the airport around 10 am the next morning. The mighty USA just lost the cap and became a man wearing tights. Everyone laughed when the reporter said that southern Manhattan still did not have hot water.
In one afternoon, after a short day at university, I prepared a meal of leftovers and sat to watch TV, happy to have made it home before sunset. I remember well that one question burned in my mind: If the USA is not safe, where will I be safe?
As I watched the towers fall over and over on replay, I called again and again and couldn’t get through.
The next day I started my job, working with kids in a Gulf Coast chemical town that was also home to part of the US Strategic Oil Reserve.To mark the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, readers and staffers are sharing their stories: where they were, what they remember, and how the events of that day changed their lives and their countries. The sun was setting over the garden walls when the second plane hit. Then and there, in live broadcast, like watching an asteroid descend on Earth, I saw the second plane smash into the second tower. How was I to believe that one or a few could injure the mighty USA? Downsizing was the next life strategy: Don’t dream big, don’t expect much, don’t fight long, don’t resist much … Jennifer Tope, an American reader who was traveling in Botswana, knew that 9/11/01 was going to be significant—because it was the date of her master’s graduation.