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Swissair Tragedy


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'Food came from everywhere'



John Cunningham
Lighthouse staff

 BRIDGEWATER - It was the generosity of South Shore stores, businesses, service clubs, organizations and individual workers that impressed Red Cross volunteer Susan Publicover in the days following the September 2 crash of Swissair Flight 111 off Peggy's Cove.

 Mrs. Publicover, a member of the Red Cross' Lunenburg County Disaster Response Team, was involved in distributing fruit, sandwiches, juice, sweets and donuts to people working at the scene of the disaster which claimed 229 lives.

 "Our priority was to feed people," she said in an interview September 8. "We fed in the range of 2,000 to 3,000 people. We provided things you could pick up and go with."

 Mrs. Publicover was stationed by a new emergency response vehicle which was stationed near the road leading into Peggy's Cove. "Fishermen who were searching for debris. RCMP officers. Firefighters. The media. Anybody who needed to eat" was served.

 "Fishermen would come in and say they needed enough food to feed 35 people. We'd load them up a box and off they'd go."

 But behind the volunteers was strong community support, Mrs. Publicover said. Calls were made to local businesses, legion branches, fire departments. "Anything we asked for, we got," she said.

 "I was impressed with the way everybody pulled together," she said. "Most people were so focused on what they were doing they weren't able to talk about what they were seeing or doing."Although the group Mrs. Publicover worked with did not have a lot of contact with members of the families of the air crash victims, she said a woman from Switzerland came down and said in broken English that they were pleased with the way they were being treated by the South Shore people.

 "I said the food came from everywhere," Mrs. Publicover said. "She just couldn't get over that."


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