On September 11, 2001, a day that will live
on eternally, Ben's plane to Hawaii from the hospital following his hip
surgery was diverted to Lincoln, Nebraska when all planes in the
US were grounded due to the terrorist attacks. He arrived first at the
Red Cross shelter and then stayed in a local hotel until airlines were
permitted to fly again.
"Do you realize that I took off from Baltimore on United flght 197 at 7:30 am,
Tuesday, the 11th- the same time and proximity as the other planes with the Arab
"The spooky thing is
that we were at Baltimore which is a half hour drive to the White House.
We wondered if they had considered our plane because we were loaded with
fuel to go to San Fransisco nonstop. While we were in the air we were in
the same proximity as the other planes. God was on our shoulders."
"I have an incredible story to tell about my trip to Hawaii after being laid
up in Lincoln, Nebraska after the terrorist attacks. After three days, we were
finally able to board a plane to San Fransisco. While in San Fransisco, a security
guard asked to see my ID before I boarded my plane to Hawaii. I didn't have anything
but an expired passport which he wouldn't accept. "I have to have a current picture
ID" he said. When I told him I didn't have one, he said I wouldn't be able to
board. Keep in mind that I'm sitting in a wheelchair due to my injury and showed
them my hospital release papers. It was then I remembered that I had something
in my pocket."
"In 1998 I attended
an anniversary party for the Hawaii 5-0 actors and staff. They gave all
of us a 5-0 badge with our pictures that was a duplicate of the TV props
they used on the show. It was this prop that I handed the security guard.
He took a look at the badge and said, "this guy is with the Hawaii state
police!" and said I could board. I then whispered, "hey guys" and they
leaned close to me. I told them, "don't tell anyone I'm with 5-0". Then
one of the guards pushed me all the way to the plane without hesitation."
Many people don't know
that there was never a real Hawaii 5-0 on Hawaii.