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Chapter 38 - The Day the World Came to Town


It is not often I dedicate a whole blog post to a single book but this non-fiction book by Jim DeFede is truly worth your attention.

September 11, 2001 one is a day that will live in our hearts and minds forever. It is a milestone in American history that has lead to many subsequent events and still causes heartbreak to many. It is hard to conceive that there was anything good about that day but...it is a day when our Canadian neighbors became our American family.

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland is the story of the planes that had to land in Newfoundland because airspace in the United States was closed. While Gander had been a very busy military base during and after World War II, and often was a refueling place for flights going to Europe and beyond, its biggest industry was fishing. The population itself was only about 11,000 citizens in 2001.

When the United States closed airspace after the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked, planes on their way from Europe to the US had no where to go. Pilots were told to land immediately at the closest airport. In many cases it was Gander and so began an influx of about 6,600 people needing food, shelter, and comfort.

The people of Gander rose to the occasion and their story, documented in this book, speaks to the goodness of the Newfies. There are parts of the book which make you smile, sections which will bring laughter and some which will prompt tears. Please give this non-fiction book a try as we remember 9/11 eighteen years later. If nothing else, go online and read about how this remarkable town and wonderful people opened their hears and homes to the world.

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