———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 8:15 PM
Subject: Fw: Fw: Great 9/11 story — ALL THE NEWS IS NOT BAD!

To: "Arthur (Pat) Engelberg" <arthurengelberg@gmail.com>


WOW  what a great page of
our  history  unknown till now…




Delta Flight


This is
totally amazing—-what a bond of LOVE was established during
their lay-over.  We should read more stories like this
about how tragedies bring out the best qualities of


This is about 9-11 but it is not


Here is an
amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15,
written following 9-11:

"On the morning of Tuesday,
September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying
over the North Atlantic . All of a sudden the curtains parted
and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the
captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that
"All Business" look on their faces. The captain handed me a
printed message. It was from Delta's main office in Atlanta and
simply read, "All airways over the Continental United States are
closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest
airport. Advise your destination."

"No one said a word
about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation
and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain
determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in
Gander, Newfoundland. He requested approval for a route change
from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted
immediately–no questions asked. We found out later, of course,
why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

"While the flight crew prepared the airplane for
landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about
some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes
later word came in about the hijackings.

"We decided to
LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air, we told
them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we
needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, Newfoundland to
have it checked out.

"We promised to give more
information after landing in Gander . There was much grumbling
among the passengers, but that's nothing new! Forty minutes
later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM!
….that's 11:00 AM EST.

"There were already about 20
other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had
taken this detour on their way to the U.S. After we parked on
the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: "Ladies
and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes
around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The
reality is that we are here for another reason." Then he went on
to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the
U.S. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain
informed passengers that ground control in Gander told us to
stay put.

"The Canadian Government was in charge of our
situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one
on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts.
Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over
and go on to the next airplane. In the next hour or so more
planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all
over the world, 27 of which were U.S. commercial jets.

"Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the
aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes
were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the
Pentagon in DC. People were trying to use their cell phones, but
were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada.
Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian
operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were
either blocked or jammed.

"Sometime in the evening the
news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had
collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash.
By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted,
not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.
We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded
aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this

"We had been told earlier that they would
be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM,
Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am
the next morning. Passengers were not happy, but they simply
resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started
to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

"Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed,
water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word.
Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did
have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took
REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident
despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

10:30 on the morning of the 12th, a convoy of school buses
showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal
where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to
register with the Red Cross.

"After that we (the crew)
were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a
small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We
learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a
population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers
to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into
Gander! We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be
contacted when the U.S. airports opened again, but not to expect
that call for a while.

"We found out the total scope of
the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning
on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

"Meanwhile, we
had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of
Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the
"plane people." We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town
of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander
airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers
and found out what they had been doing for the past two days.
What we found out was incredible.

" Gander and all the
surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had
closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other
large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to

mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some had
cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set

"ALL the high school students were required to
volunteer their time to take care of the "guests." Our 218
passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45
kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school.
If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was
arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly
passengers were taken to privatehomes.

"Remember that
young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right
across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was
a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with
the crowd for the duration.

"Phone calls and e-mails to
the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a
day. During the day, passengers were offered "Excursion" trips.
Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some
went for hikes in the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open
to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the
residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to
restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals.
Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their
clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft. In other
words, every single need was met for those stranded

"Passengers were crying while telling us these
stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had
reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and
without a single passenger missing or
late. The local Red
Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and
every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and
when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything
beautifully. It was absolutely incredible.

passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise.
Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of
their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time.
Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight.
The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.
Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by
their first names, exchanging
phone numbers, addresses, and
email addresses.

"And then a very unusual thing
happened. One of our passengers approached me and asked if he
could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever
allow that. But this time was different. I said "of course" and
handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone
about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He
reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands
of total strangers. He continued by saying that he would like to
do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

"He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the
name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust
fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school
students of Lewisporte. He
asked for donations of any amount
from his fellow travelers. When the paperwith donations got back
to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the
total was for more than $14,000!

"The gentleman, a MD
from Virginia, promised to match the donations and to start the
administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he
would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to
donate as well. As I write this account, the trust fund is at
more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college

"I just wanted to share this story because we
need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to
know that some people in a far away place were kind to some
strangers who literally dropped in on
them. It reminds me
how much good there is in the world."

"In spite of all
the rotten things we see going on in today's world, this story
confirms that there are still a lot of good and Godly people in
the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.

"God Bless America …and the


As stated
at the beginning this is a true story.  For more on the
story, see snopes.com http://www.snopes.com/rumors/gander.asp and
the related New York times story. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/18/international/18NEWF.html


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