The Day the World Came to Town

The Day the World Came to Town

9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

Book - 2002
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The True Story Behind the Events on 9/11 that Inspired Broadway's Smash Hit Musical Come from Away

When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.

As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.

Over the course of those four days, many of the passengers developed friendships with Gander residents that they expect to last a lifetime. As a show of thanks, scholarship funds for the children of Gander have been formed and donations have been made to provide new computers for the schools. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill.

Publisher: New York : Regan Books, c2002.
ISBN: 9780060513603
Characteristics: x, 244 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm.


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Jan 12, 2019

This is the book to reach for when you have become thoroughly disillusioned with people. It shows the worst (9/11) and the best of people. The Newfies (thanks to the author for the pronunciation guide: use the same emphasis for both words in "understand Newfoundland", with the middle syllable pronounced "fin") are an inspiration to the rest of us.

Oct 26, 2018

When terrorists attacked New York, the Pentagon, and US air space, the people in Gander, New Foundland, took in several thousand passengers and crew members from nearly 40 planes that were stopped from entering the USA. In difficult circumstances, these folks looked out for their visitors’ physical and emotional well-being, and did their best to make their stay in Gander as positive as possible. Throughout the book you learn more of Gander’s history and culture. If you like this book, listen to the musical ‘Come from Away’ (available on Spotify) for some catchy tunes based on these stories.

May 07, 2018

When U.S. airspace closed in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thirty-eight commercial flights were forced to land instead in Gander, Newfoundland (pop. 9,651). The sudden and unexpected influx of 6,500 distressed and disoriented travelers demonstrated the mettle and generosity of the local "Newfies," as they immediately set to coordinating shelters, donations of necessities, and food service, many of the islanders even opening their homes (and showers!) to these complete strangers. Through journalist Jim DeFede we meet several dozen of the passengers and locals, learning more about their lives before, during and after the disaster, and about the enduring friendships borne out of hardship.

DeFede has a simple and occasionally sloppy writing style. My hackles rose up each time he referred to bonobos as 'monkeys' and adoptive parents as 'stepparents.' Otherwise, this was a fast, humanity-affirming read. Highly recommended.

Jcheng1234 Nov 04, 2017

A heart warming true story of the enormous kindness and support provided by the whole town towards people in need. The author who was an award winning journalist gave a factual record of how the townspeople of Gander in Newfoundland provided hospitality for thousands of stranded flight passengers when US airspace was closed after the 911 terrorist attack. The generosity and unselfish love of the town won friendship and lifetime bonding with the total strangers. A spirit lifting book in this troubled world to read!

Sep 26, 2016

Remarkable stories of the people of Gander, Newfoundland who cared for the thousands of stranded passengers from grounded 9/11 planes. Book was plagued by rudimentary, repetitive and uninspired writing.

bibliotechnocrat Dec 10, 2015

A heartwarming read about how Newfoundlanders opened their homes and hearts to the thousands of air passengers stranded in Gander when US airspace closed, September 11, 2001. Darkness makes light more obvious and the narrative makes me proud of my Canadian compatriots who stepped up to the plate on that terrible day.

beckz Oct 25, 2007

I recommend everyone to read this book. Period.

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