This was my first trip to Nova Scotia and it was so necessary for my family and me. I felt connected to the beauty of the land and the compassionate people. It proved to be cathartic for me, my children and my in-laws. 229 candles were lit on the night of September 2nd, at a service on Citadel Hill.
Thousands attended. The families expressed their profound gratitude to the rescue workers and all the Nova Scotians, who were forever touched by this tragedy by giving them a standing ovation. A bell tolled at the exact time of the crash, which was too painful to endure. There were other religious services, which were held during the three days that we were there. Also, the families were able to tour the hangars at Shearwater where the plane was reconstructed, and go out to the crash site by boat. There was an interment ceremony at Bayswater, and a memorial dedication at Whalesback, where a monument was erected.
From there, we went on to Peggy’s Cove. It was very well organized. There was an unspoken understanding among the families during the days we were there, and an openness and honesty as well. My children were able to speak to others freely about their feelings and share stories with others. I do plan to go back again, as I felt it a peaceful place. My husband loved the ocean and lighthouses. He would have appreciated the beauty of Peggy’s Cove. I felt close to him while we were there. Emotionally, the trip took its toll on me, and it took weeks to adjust to my “normal” life (which will never be normal) again.
– Michele Librett lost her husband on Swissair Flight 111, Nova Scotia, on September 2, 1998.