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The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

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If you are one of those people who rolls your eyes upon hearing ultra-sunny bromides like “There are no such things as strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet,” then The Day the World Came to Town probably is not the book for you. For if there was ever a book that proved the veracity of such statements, it is certainly Jim DeFede’s Christopher Award-winning account of the 6,595 refugees from the sky stranded in Gander, Newfoundland on 11 September 2001.

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

David Suchet portrays the role of Samuel Stern with such conviction that you have no choice but to go through his emotional journey with him. Joanne Whalley played her role with a lot passion and understanding. Lisa Repo-Martell gave one of the most memorable performances during the film with lots of control and presence. One of the most interesting subplots was the story of Jamal Hassani, played by Anousha Alamian and his struggle as a minority, which felt real and honest and gave the film such humanity, that it was thrilling to watch. the author states that a person needs a prescription to obtain nicotine patches in the US but that they are OTC (over the counter) in Canada. Not so. I am a pharmacist. They are OTC and have been OTC in the US since 1999. Clark and Roxanne Loper of Alto, Texas had traveled to Almaty, Kazakhstan to adopt a two year old girl named Alexandria. Their travels took them away from their one year old named Samantha, also adopted from Kazakhstan, for nearly three weeks. Gander residents went out of their way to make sure that the Lopers and two other families on the way home from adopting children had everything they needed for the week, especially as these children had to adapt to new surroundings. What if one definition of a hero is simply one who treats a stranger as a member of the family or one who provides towels or toiletries, or offers a shower, or sits to talk, or provides a board game, or prays with or for you, or gives you a ride to town, or takes you to the local pub or shopping? The Day the World Came to Town opens with a history of the town and an explanation of the strategic military and commercial importance of Gander International Airport. On September 11, DeFede reports that Gander, with a population of approximately 10,000, accepted 38 previously unscheduled planes carrying approximately 6,800 passengers and crew, most of which were stranded there until U.S. airspace reopened nearly a week later. [3]It's been a tough year. A year when I've said repeatedly, "I've never seen the like." A pandemic, social justice unrest and demonstrations, a devastating ice storm in our city, devastating fires nearby, political dissension and violence, economies shutting down...the list seems endless. It's been a time where hope appears anorexic, shrinking before my eyes. I had looked forward to this, having read the book "The Day the World Came to Town", which is a gripping account of what happened in Gander, Newfoundland when all those diverted planes came in to land on 9/11 with their nearly 7,000 passengers and how all were made to feel welcome and accommodated. Lorne Manly (16 February 2016). " 'Come From Away,' a Sept. 11 Musical, Is Coming to Broadway". The New York Times . Retrieved 25 January 2021. Second, the writing seems more like a collection of articles than a finished book. That’s fine and it didn’t bother me that much but I thought I should mention it. It’s a story of the events, of the passengers and of the numerous people in Gander, who under circumstances that were staggering, managed in a very short period of time to set up shelters in churches and schools, who fed and offered clothing and diapers, lent their phones and computers, their showers and their towels, open their homes and most of all friendship to complete strangers. It’s the story of so many heroes beginning with the air traffic controllers who on a moment’s notice had to manage the air space and land these planes, to the women of the town who stayed up through the early morning hours washing towels, to the restaurant owners and store owners who provided food and necessities. It’s also the story of some of the passengers, a German mayor, a corporate executive, two sets of parents and their newly adopted children on their trip home, a worried family whose son was a firefighter in New York City, a group of Moldavian refugees, and so many others.

The Day The World Came To Town by Jim Defede - BookerTalk The Day The World Came To Town by Jim Defede - BookerTalk

If you need something to make you believe (again) that there are good, kind and generous people in this world read this book. Inside it's covers is an uplifting and incredible story about the 38 planeloads of passengers (6,600 people) who had to be diverted to the very tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland after the events of 9/11. It is also very much about their hosts, the citizens of Gander who made every person feel comfortable and welcome. There was no hatred. No anger. No fear in Gander. Only the spirit of community. Here, everyone was equal, everyone was treated the same. Here, the basic humanity of man wasn’t just surviving but thriving”

They always ask why we did it. They can’t figure it out. And I tell them that for us, it’s normal. I’m still not sure what all the fuss is about.”

The Day the World Came to Town - Google Books

The beauty of this book is that it captures the good that does exist in man. The news predominantly tells us of the bad. Hearing constantly about the bad, certainly does not make us better. Hearing about good people does! They set an example. They warm our hearts. They give a person the necessary extra little “umpf” to go on. I needed this book now. It is important books such as this exist.

Stuart Anderson (11 September 2019). "The Day Canadians Opened Their Homes To Americans". Forbes . Retrieved 25 January 2021. In the first twenty-four hours...filled more than a thousand prescriptions. All at no cost to the passengers.

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