Acquired vis BookCrossing 25 Jul 2007 – bookring

The story of what happened when 38 planes were diverted to a small town in Newfoundland on 9/11 when American airspace was closed down.

Reading this book was a profoundly moving experience for me. I wept my way through it – tears from how much I was touched by the lovely stories, the beautiful demonstrations of man’s humanity to man, to alter a phrase.

This is the first 9/11 book I’ve been able to read. Although I was literally unaffected by the terrible happenings, they left a huge mark on my life. When it happened, I was working in South London. We saw the 2nd plane hit, on the internet. At the time, there was a terrible, terrifying rumour that there was a plane headed for Canary Wharf, the tall landmark tower by the Thames. My friend Matthew worked in one of the buildings of the complex. He was evacuated, and I spent a fraught few hours trying to contact him as he made his way home. I could see Canary Wharf tower from my flat’s bedroom windows and for months I coulnd’t look at it without imagining a plane flying into it. We talked for hours that night, shared our first kiss on October 04 2001 and have been living together for 5 years.

We had just left central London when 7/7 hit. All those places we had been so often. More images, survivor guilt this time. Sobbing for hours on the anniversary.

So, this book was hard for me to read on many levels, but so beautiful and inspiring, and helping to redress the balance of those terrible days. I believe, too, there is more goodness in the world than badness. The actions of those lovely people outbalance the vile people who spat at my friend’s parents, long-serving members of their wider community, because they were Muslims.

Sorry – I’ve gone on too long. But I wanted to express this. The book is wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone. My favourite parts: the Orthodox Jewish people, the Tent Girls, and the Mountie who, when he realised the outgoing passengers were disappointed to see him in a plain police uniform, got dispensation to wear the classic red jacket.