Touched by Canadians’ 9/11 kindness, Dublin, Ohio woman continues scholarship efforts

Shirley Brooks-Jones of Ohio found her flight from Frankfurt to Atlanta grounded in Newfoundland 18 years ago when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 closed US airspace. She ended up in Lewisporte, a small town near the more famous Gander.

For three days, the people of Lewisporte worked hard to provide the “plane people” with food, cots, towels, toiletries, and comfort. Many friendships ensued.

“We bonded with those people,” Brooks-Jones told Jennifer Smola The Columbus Dispatch. “It was like we had known each other forever.”

When Brooks-Jones’ flight, Delta Flight 15, went on its way, the passengers took up a collection to make a scholarship for Lewisporte children. While still aboard the plane, they collected $15,000 in pledges.

Shirley Brooks-Jones, 83, returns to Lewisporte annually to present the scholarships. More than 290 students have benefitted.

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