First reunion after 9/11 tragedy

A Craigavon couple had an emotional reunion with a flight attendant who helped them through the horrific 9/11 tragedy in the USA.

Jean and Ivan McEwen had been in Nashville Tennessee and were due to fly home to Ireland on that tragic day.

From left, Ivan McEwen, Rock Mikulak, Jean McEwen and Bobby Heard. INLM24-209.

From left, Ivan McEwen, Rock Mikulak, Jean McEwen and Bobby Heard. INLM24-209.

However, after planes began to fly into buildings in New York, all flights across the USA were grounded.

Mrs McEwen explained that she was very emotional and frightened. However, a friendly and considerate flight attendant who happened to be staying in the same hotel came to comfort her during the dreadful tragedy.

Her daughter Kelly explains: “They met in a hotel lobby just after the first plane went down. My mum was standing crying in my dad’s arms.”

“Their flight home to Ireland was that morning and dad told mum to stop packing the suitcase as they were going nowhere.

“When they were in the lobby of the hotel trying to get in touch with the Irish Embassy to see if they could get home, mum was crying her eyes out. Then a group of flight attendants walked into the hotel because all planes where grounded. Mum was in a bad way crying and Roch Mikulak went over to her to give her a tissue and comforted her.

“When mum saw his plane badge she started crying harder. She was thinking about this kind man who had came to comfort her even though he’s almost certainly lost friends or colleagues in the 9/11 attack.

“They became close friends over the course of the next five days that mum and dad where stuck in America. Roch also gave them tickets to do the tour of the country star mansions.”

On Monday Jean and Ivan were at their Craigavon home when they had the surprise of a lifetime as Roch with his partner Bobby Heard walked through the door.

Everyone including their daughters Kelly and Amanda were in floods of tears as the couple were reunited with their compassionate and caring flight attendant.

Kind-hearted Roch and his partner have travelled the world and everywhere they go they show Mrs McEwen photos of their trips.

Little did she know she would feature in the latest trip

“This man means so much to mum. He gave her the comfort she needed when his whole country was falling apart,” said Kelly.