Former flight attendant remembers Sept. 11 attacks

Diane Speaks is now a boutique owner

ROANOKE, Va.- – Events were held across the country Monday to remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

It's a day many of us won't forget, including local boutique owner Diane Speaks, who was a flight attendant at the time.

Speaks, who owns She's International Boutique recalls being on a flight from Amsterdam to Philadelphia during the World Trade Center attacks.
Along with the crew and passengers, their plane stayed on the runway for 12 hours because all U.S. airports were closed. Speaks says she prayed and helped calm more than 150 passengers.

"The thing I remembered most was a lady sitting in 2A, she was very disturbed because she had two sons who worked in the World Trade Center and we couldn't find out what happened to them. A few days later we found out one went to the cleaners and the other died," Speaks said.

Their plane eventually landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They stayed in the area for three days until continuing their flight to the U.S.

"After 9/11 things changed for us. We had to look at a customers and passengers differently and see if people were working together or if it was a setup. They even taught us kung fu, so things changed after 9/11. One good thing is the customers had our backs," Speaks said.

Speaks spent 33 years as a flight attendant.