Friday, September 11, 2009

I Was In Halifax

I was checking something out in the Internet room when a passenger walked by, quickly, and mentioned something about an airplane and a building. The manager and I tried CNN but it did not load; I tried BBC, same thing. Then some other site and it showed some airplane which didn’t look like much at a distance.

The Captain came on, made a terse announcement and said all public televisions would be switched to CNN. I ran to the movie theater to see what was up.

If you have ever read Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Mask of the Red Death,” you will know how I felt at the time. Here we were, safe and sound, while the world around us was falling apart – or so it seemed. We ate and drank, although without the scheduled entertainment, waiters served us, all went the same.

Until the e-mails began arriving. Some of us, me included, learned there was one less person in our lives that morning; others were not sure and would not know for a day or more; a few people we lucky to hear from their children or family members that loved ones had escaped. The “Red Death” had reached the ship.

As we went up the St. Lawrence River toward either Quebec City or Montreal, I heard a train whistle in the distance. At that point, I wished I were back home in the worst way. The Canadians could not have been nicer toward us in the days following; they knew we were devastated and did what they could.


Post a Comment

<< Home