The Day The World Came To Town: 9/11 In Gander, Newfoundland Hardcover – Aug 22 2002
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The events of September 11 have seemingly been covered, analyzed, and discussed from every angle imaginable. So the subject matter alone of Jim DeFede's The Day the World Came to Town makes it noteworthy. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 38 commercial airliners carrying over 6,000 passengers were forced, as a precautionary measure, to land in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. Due to the ongoing closure of U.S. airspace, the passengers spent four days in this isolated town of 10,000 before being allowed to continue on their way. In that time, Gander's residents rallied together to extend a kind of hospitality that seems too expansive for the word hospitality. Townspeople not only opened schools and legion halls for use as emergency shelters, they invited the passengers into their homes for showers, meals, and warm beds while local businesses simply gave toiletries and clothing to passengers stuck without luggage. Despite the grim consequences that led to the situation, DeFede finds humor: two flight attendants are offered a car for sightseeing by a local woman who happened to be driving by; the stranded chairman of Hugo Boss finds himself shopping for men's underwear at the local Wal-Mart. But the real message of the book is how, even in times of great turmoil and conflict, people can and must look to one another for comfort, help, and hope. --John Moe
From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Defede calls our attention to a sidelight of the events of September 11, when the town of Gander (pop. 10,000) was overwhelmed by more than 6,500 air travelers grounded when U.S. airspace was shut down. For a week, DeFede relates, the locals provided food, shelter and supplies and reassurance; "they placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked nothing in return." Here the generous Newfoundlanders get due recognition. Photos. (Sept.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
'The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland' describes what happened when more than 250 aircraft, prohibited from entering U.S. airspace due to the terrorist attacks, were diverted to Canadian airports. Of those, 38 planes bearing 6,595 passengers landed in Gander, Newfoundland, a town with a population of barely 10,000. What happened next goes a very long way to restore the faith in humanity that was shaken by the terrorists. Without exception, the residents of Gander (They call themselves 'Newfies') opened their doors to welcome the unexpected refugees and poured out such warmth and compassion that one passenger later remarked, "I was on a flight from London to New York and landed in Heaven."
Schools were closed to provide space for shelters. Residents took the sheets and blankets off their own beds to deliver to the passengers and stayed up all night to feed and welcome then when they finally were able to get off the planes. Locals approached 'plane people' in the street and invited them into their homes to shower. Pharmacists made thousands of calls worldwide to verify prescriptions and then filled them for free. Shop owners gave away their stock to those in need and, when they ran out, bought more from the competition and gave that away as well. The events described in this book will make you either proud to be a Canadian or regretful that you aren't.
DeFede skillfully blends the tragic and the comic. One moment Gander's residents are compassionately providing around-the-clock care and companionship to the mother of a missing New York firefighter.Read more ›
Now I wish Defede would write a sequel - since it has been five years since this book was published, I'd like to know how everyone is doing now!
This is a great and reassuring story how a group of people reach out and embrace others in a time of need. While I love reading, I don't find myself often emotionally touched by books ... DeFede succeeded in finding the right words, images and stories that touched my emotions time and time again.
There is another book that I would recommend as well. It's a similar story of how a community reaches out to those affected by world events and provides a touch of humanity when it's needed. Bob Greene's _Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen_ tells about how North Platte NE (and surrounding towns) greeted WWII servicemen and servicewomen on their journeys across America. The shift in time and story is an interesting counterpoint to a common theme in both books: how people reach out in times of uncertainty and pain to make strangers' lives a bit more comfortable and how grace is defined in human terms.
Most recent customer reviews
Wonderful to hear how small communities were able to share their love during a crisis!Published 5 days ago by Sharon Dean
This was a very moving account of how people come together in the wake of tragedy! Loved it!Published 4 months ago by Vivienne Fernie
very good and since I had visited Gander it made the book that much more interestingPublished 5 months ago by mike, a
I read this book so fast .Being from Nova Scotia, I thought I knew what went on in Gander that fateful week. Well, little did I know! Read morePublished 8 months ago by calico62
Following Tuesday, September 11, 2001 one of the stories we heard on the news was about all the planes that needed to land in Gander, Newfoundland. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Craig
I sobbed all thru the story. Goes to show you, there are more good people in this world than the ugly ones that want to killPublished 16 months ago by susan Charles
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