Dangerous Animals

One day in September last year, John Kartsounis was gazing down from a plane window at Cape Cod, the sandy peninsula that juts from the state of Massachusetts into the North Atlantic in the shape of a clenched arm. It was a clear day, and he thought he could make out the public beach where he often surfed. Later, he discovered that his daughter had been there that afternoon while a man was killed in the shallows by a great white shark.

When we met at his home in the town of Wellfleet, he referred to that day as “Cape Cod’s 9/11.” This wasn’t an analogy he drew lightly, since Kartsounis is a flight attendant for American Airlines, and had known several of the crew – Boston-based, like him – on Flight 11, which hit the North Tower…

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