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The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in…
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The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland (2002)

by Jim Defede

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5034231,579 (4.16)138
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.… (more)
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» See also 138 mentions

English (41)  Finnish (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Yes. Another 9/11 story. Wait a minute though! For the most part, this is an uplifting telling of the thousands of passengers, basically equal to the town's entire population grounded in Gander, Newfoundland as the events of 9/11 unfolded in the United States. The residents of Gander were living examples of compassion, generosity of spirit as well as of material goods. The individual stories of incredible thoughtfulness are well told and reaffirm the qualities of humanity which seemed in doubt that day. Excellent read! ( )
  hemlokgang | Sep 7, 2019 |
What a little gem! I can't say I didn't shed a tear by the end of this book but overall, it's an uplifting assortment of true stories of airline passengers on 9/11 who were displaced when the US was attacked and forced to close its airspace completely. Gander, Newfoundland sounds like an amazing place where generosity and cooperation are the norm. Well written!! ( )
  LizBurkhart | Sep 5, 2019 |
The Day the World Came to Town - DeFede
4 stars

I wanted to read this book because I wanted the story of what happened on the ground in Gander. I got that story, and it was inspiring.

I knew a bit about Gander’s response to the crisis and I enjoyed the way this book filled in the details. The author must have had many individual stories to choose from. I think he did a good job of balancing. He varied the perspectives from Gander natives to those ‘from away’. There was a balance between tension and comic relief, heartbreak and heartwarming. I was very caught up in the personal stories. I wanted to know more about what happened later to everyone involved. Google search yielded a 10th anniversary documentary and all the wonderful publicity for Come From Away. There’s no denying. It is an inspirational story. ( )
  msjudy | Aug 14, 2019 |
3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
A feel-good true story. ( )
  Jean_Roberts | Jul 18, 2019 |
Hours after the attacks on the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, all aircraft in the United States were grounded. Planes were told to land at the closest airports. For 36 planes, many of them jumbo jets, the airport at Gander, Noewfoundland, was the closest, so those flights’ 7,000 passengers and crews became the guests of the town of 12,000 and the surrounding towns. What followed was nothing short of amazing. The hospitality gained world wide recognition, and for good reason. One of the most generous hosts was Canadian Tire, the Canadian hardware chain. That company offered anything in their stores and warehouses free of charge to the stranded travelers. Not only that, but Canadian Tire also paid for anything the people needed that was only available at other stores. That means $20,000 in their own merchandise was donated to the travelers and an additional $10,000 spent on items at other stores (mainly Walmart). DeFede is a journalist, and his book reads like a journalist’s feature story with interviews of more than 180 individuals. Their stories will make you smile; some will make you tear up. This is a quick read and well worth the few hours it will take you to read it. ( )
  DanDiercks | Jul 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
It's difficult to find fault with a book so earnestly dedicated to showing us that compassion and generosity are not just myths from days past, and neither is the kind of modesty demonstrated by the citizens of Gander, who never wanted nor expected nor asked for any recognition or accolades. Instead, they set a standard to which the rest of us should aspire to reach.
added by 2wonderY | editPopMatters, Teri A. McIntyre (Nov 11, 2013)
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Defedeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Porter, RayNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my mother, and in memory of my father
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"Where are you going?"
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Never before in the ninety-eight-year history of American aviation had such a command been given. There were 4,546 civilian aircraft over the United States at the time, from private Cessnas to jumbo jets, and they all scrambled to find a place to land. Closing airspace had its most disorienting effect, though, on approximately four hundred international flights headed toward the Untied States, the majority of which were coming across the Atlantic from Europe.
More than 250 aircraft, carrying 43,895 people, were diverted to fifteen Canadian airports from Vancouver in the west to St. John's in the east.
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