Terrorism in the Skies

A turning point in my life occurred in 1982 with the first act of terrorism; an air-bomb exploded on a flight my wife and I were taking from Tokyo to Hawaii. As the plane made its death-like plunge toward the sea, little did I realize that I was staring in the face of a new enemy: terrorism. Later, I would lay witness to IRA acts of terrorism in the 1983 Harrods bombing in London and the 9/11 terrorism in New York.

The terrorism that brought down the Twin Towers was to become a symbol of the new millennium. And even though there was terrorism in the United States and elsewhere before 9/11, for most of us, 9/11 represents the real beginning of the war on terrorism.

Upon hearing the news, I rushed to my boat located at a marina directly across from the Twin Towers. That evening, from the deck of my boat, I looked across the Hudson River and was frozen by the sight of billowing smoke and the fire's red glare. The sound of wailing sirens and the kaleidoscope of twinkling lights blending with the flames made a ghastly and unforgettable sight. The next morning I stepped out on deck to witness the horrible reality of terrorism—the towers were indeed gone!

The Harrods terrorism incidence was a car-bomb attack carried out by the IRA on December 17, 1983. Living in an apartment not too far from Harrods, we could hear the blast. We rushed to the scene and in spite of police barriers, could get close enough to see the gruesome sight of the car roof hanging from the spire of a nearby building. Six people were killed, including the son of a close friend.

White Sails Became Me gives you first-hand accounts of terrorism in the skies and on land.