20 years ago today, the attacks against America tore many families apart. However, it also brought people together. In fact, a Texas couple met after having their flight diverted and have been married for 19 years.
Houston couple Nick and Diana Marson were initially flying separately on a U.S.-bound international flight on 9/11. The attacks caused their flight to divert to New Foundland, Canada. FOX 26 Houston spoke to the couple about them meeting one another.
“I noticed the flight attendant was extremely nervous and almost visibly shaking and I thought she’s really not cut out for this job,” Nick told the station. “Little did I realize she was probably walking around the plane looking for other people that might have been terrorists.”
Nearly 40 other flights besides theirs flew to New Foundland. Staying for several days with thousands of people, Diane is more than grateful. “They just opened their pantries, their refrigerators, and made food for almost 7,000 people.” Nick adds the country’s gracious hosts “displayed the very best of mankind.”
Nick recalls seeing his wife for the first time. He was in line for army blankets and felt compelled to take a photo. “I wanted a picture of this lady because these days that we’d spent in this little part of heaven taken care of by angels I wanted to remember it. I wanted to remember Diane.”
Diane noticed Nick wanting a photo and tried to move out of the shot, thinking he wanted to capture the scenery. Nick reports he “wasn’t interested in the scenery at all.”
Flying to Washington, D.C., Friday to attend Come From Away, the couple wants everyone to remember 9/11. “I don’t want people to forget what happened,” Diane said. “I want it to bring us together rather than divide us.”
Learn About The Flight Attendant Who Heroically Identified Flight 11 Hijackers On 9/11, Betty Ong
Today serves not only as a day of reflection for what happened 20 years ago but remembering the fallen and the heroes we lost. One such hero was Betty Ong, a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11.
Minutes before Flight 11 was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, Ong made an Airfone call to report the plane had been hijacked and who the hijackers were. Originally saying she was on Flight 12, Ong realized her mistake after saying they were heading to Los Angeles. She then reported multiple people had been stabbed and other flight attendants couldn’t reach the cockpit.
“The cockpit’s not answering. Somebody’s stabbed in business class and – I think there’s mace – that we can’t breathe. I don’t know. I think we’re getting hijacked.”
Betty Ong had been speaking to American Airlines Reservations attendant Nydia Gonzales, who relayed the shared information to the American Airlines Emergency Line to report everything. Meanwhile, Ong stayed on the phone with Gonzalez until Flight 11 collided with the World Trade Center.
Betty Ong’s information to ground control was crucial in figuring out what happened to Flight 11 and is a testament to her bravery and quick thinking.