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

When thirty-eight jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001, due to the closing of United States airspace, the citizens of this small community and surrounding towns were called upon to care for the thousands of distraught travelers.


The Day the World Came to Town records some of the remarkable but lesser known stories of 9/11 and shows how a community formed in the spirit of simple humanity does not exclude or reject people based on a fear of the unknown.


While this is not the best book ever written, and I could criticise its style, lack of critical analysis, and lack of references, I feel these are tertiary issues. The main point and message of this book are what I feel should really be the focus this particular review and my personal hope that people will remember the stories of hope and humanity in an age when media coverage seems to dwell on the atrocities committed by people against other people.


Isn’t is fab that acts of kindness require no justification or reason or motive?


Anyway, I thank Murder by Death for sending me her copy of the book all the way from Down Under. It was her review that first introduced the book to me, and like her I would like to share the book with others and pass the book on to anyone who wants to read it.


If you’d be interested in receiving my (previously Murder by Death’s) paperback copy (still very good condition) and don’t mind waiting for it in the post, then first person to say so in the comments will get it – no matter where you live.


“For the better part of a week, nearly every man, woman, and child in Gander and the surrounding smaller towns – places with names like Gambo and Appleton and Lewisporte and Norris Arm – stopped what they were doing so they could help. They placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked for nothing in return. They affirmed the basic goodness of man at a time when it was easy to doubt such humanity still existed. If the terrorists had hoped their attacks would reveal the weakness in western society, the events in Gander proved its strength.”

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