HALIFAX – “Anyone who was there was involved, even with little things. We were supposed to go down to our wharfs every day and look hard to see if we saw anything … and there was a sense of a kind of mysterious grief because of course we didn’t know any of these people, but there they were dying on our doorsteps in a particularly awful way.”“Meeting the loved ones and families of those who died — they made the people who died real. Before that, we had this strange feeling of grief, but we didn’t know who we were grieving for. But as we met people it made it more real and in the process we met so many people … and wonderful relationships grew up in many, many ways. It became a valuable experience, something that taught you things about the human race you hadn’t thought about before.”– Budge Wilson, author of “After Swissair,” who lived in Northwest Cove, N.S., near the crash site.—“It’s certainly something that everyone in this community will never, ever forget. I live by and look at the water everyday so it’s always there. I always wonder if it had happened in the daylight hours to see that image would have just been horrific. It’s bad enough to hear it.”“The tragedy of it all it just makes you feel so sad and you look at things differently, you look at the ocean differently. I couldn’t walk on the beach for a year and I love my beach here, but I just couldn’t go down on a beach and walk with the same feeling I had.”– Veronica LeBlanc, an organizer of the Swissair memorial event who lives in Bayswater and heard the plane crash in waters near her home.—“The reality of it was when we came across the first debris field, we knew it was highly unlikely that there would be survivors.”“It was almost part of the healing process to take family members out and get to talk to them. I wouldn’t change anything, but after five years it was time for me to back away from it and try not to think about it.”– John Campbell, owner of the Sou’Wester restaurant in Peggy’s Cove, N.S., who went out searching for survivors the night of the crash and took families out to the site for several years after to spread the ashes of their loved ones.—“It has sharpened my understanding of what is really important and it doesn’t have to be a just a horrific tragedy like this. It’s the relationships — meeting people for the first time, and just how wonderful that is. It makes the life that you live, especially as you get older, just that much more precious and meaningful. That was 20 years ago, that just gets better and better and better.”– Fisherman Bob Conrad, who recovered the remains of 14-month-old Robert Martin Maillet and went onto forge relationships with several families of those lost in the crash.