Does the current state of the world have you down? Need a little pick me up? Well, I have the book for you! It’s called The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede.
I realize that it may seem surprising that a book about 9/11 could be uplifting, but I assure you that it is. This book helped to restore my faith in humanity and reminded me that even in the worst of times, human beings really can come together and become the best versions of themselves.
On 9/11, the United States closed its airspace to incoming aircraft, and all planes on course to the U.S. were required to divert elsewhere. And that’s how it came to be that 38 planes ended up landing at Gander International Airport in Newfoundland, Canada, nearly doubling the town’s population in the process.
Now, Canadians do have a reputation for being kind and generous, and this book certainly went a long way to confirm that stereotype. But the people of Gander truly went above and beyond to ensure the stranded passengers were clothed, fed, and had somewhere to sleep and bathe.
They even volunteered to care for all the pets stuck in the cargo hold who couldn’t be reunited with their owners due to international animal-transport restrictions. To say their outpouring of support and generosity was heartwarming is a serious understatement!
This book was moving and delightful and something that I really needed to read during the pandemic and the divisiveness we’re experiencing presently in the U.S. I am grateful to Canada that they took such great care of our fellow citizens during a difficult and traumatic time, and I hope that many of the friendships and international bonds developed between the townspeople and passengers in Gander are still going strong today.
Pick this one up if you need a little something to brighten your day!
For more information: The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede