So many stories that originated from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 are sad stories of loss. But there are also some stories of human kindness and changed hearts.
Today, on the fifteenth anniversary of that historically sad day, let us hear and think about a positive story, in which a group of American travelers were fortunate enough to be routed away from danger. What they did as a result of that experience is an example of charity and gratitude.
Shirley Brooks Jones was a passenger on a plane that was rerouted to a tiny airport in Newfoundland after terrorists crashed planes in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania. Shirley Brooks Jones, all of the passengers aboard her plane, and many other planes were prevented from entering the military-controlled airspace of the United States in the aftermath of the attacks.
For several days, these travelers were hosted and supported by the small population in and around the Gander, Newfoundland area (a group of approximately 10,000). They were given food, comfort, telephones to call their families, and friendly support while the details of the 9/11 attacks were being dealt with in the United States.
Once Brooks-Jones and her fellow airline passengers were allowed to return home, the travelers agreed to create and donate to a scholarship fund to help the young people of this friendly Newfoundland area afford college and improve their own lives. Those young people have greatly benefited from their own community’s acts of kindness and Brooks-Jones and her group of travelers also learned a lesson about hope in moments of crisis.
- Shirley Brooks-Jones was recently honored by Canada for her charitable actions.
- Learn more about the changing influence of the Lewisporte Area Flight 15 Scholarship Fund.