Alum reports of being in the air during attacks

From The Catalyst, September 19, 2001

According to the September 12 Halifax Daily News, 45 aircraft landed at Halifax International Airport last Tuesday. Metros transported the 9,000 refugees to accommodations in schools, military bases and homes in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I was on U.S. Airways 95, an international flight bound for Charlotte, N.C., from London. I noticed we were losing altitude six hours into the eight-hour flight. The next thing I knew, we were on the ground...

We had six hours on the plane to contemplate the images awaiting us. Someone in the front kept thinking they heard a dog crying below-ships. A stewardess quickly dismissed it as a mechanical noise.

Sound of frost in the cabin hull is the sound of coins pouring onto metal.

Andy Simmons, a 29-year-old cabaret performer from London, fetched tea for the Rummy game he had going. He seemed in good spirits, but anxious to see footage. "I know it's sick, but I want to see it," he confessed...

Stephanie Mandl is a 27-year-old Immunologist from San Francisco. Her fiancee died in a random shooting on the the streets of San Francisco a year ago. She felt whole-heartedly the pain of the victims' families, how "completely out of the blue your life's gone. One minute we were talking and laughing, the next he was dying in my arms..."

At a disco in Halifax, Leigh Becker, 46, who runs a lab diagnostics business out of Toronto, responded to the attack.

"I got on my knees when I saw [the report]," he recalled. "It said, We're vulnerable."