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

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

by Jim DeFede

Paperback(First Paperback Edition)

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Perfect for fans of the hit Broadway 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060559717
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/14/2003
Edition description: First Paperback Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 508
Product dimensions: 5.34(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Jim DeFede has been an award-winning journalist for sixteen years, first with the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, and then with the Miami New Times. His work has appeared in Talk, The New Republic, and Newsday. He is currently a metro columnist for the Miami Herald.

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The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely one of the best books I've ever read, I wish there was a sequel with more stories. I recommended that friends give this as a Christmas present. Makes me want to live in Gander.
sandylovesbooks More than 1 year ago
The Day the World Came to Town chronicles the events in Gander, Newfoundland, when President Bush closed American airspace on 9/11/2001. The people of Gander, population about 10,000, had 28 planes diverted to Gander. On 30 minutes notice, they housed, fed and clothed (the passengers were not allowed their luggage) almost 8,000 people. Ganderites and passengers came together and proved that the hatred shown by the hijackers was the anamoly; real love and consideration are Western traits that no one can obliterate. This is the only happy book to come out of that terrible day, and it's one of the happiest I've ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wasn't initially thrilled that our club was reading a book about 9/11. Expected a depressing story. But this book delighted me with its positive message about the potential for basic human kindness, creative thinking, and the ways in which people deal with one another in the midst of crisis. I would recommend this book to book clubs, but also to those who have read too many stories about the tragedies associated with 9/11. This book serves as a reminder that even these horrible events can have positive side-effects. It was a joy to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How often did we think of the people and animals stranded in the air during the 9/11 attacks? When did the media report on their lives? This is an inspirational story, one that needs to be told over and over again. It is easily written and, therefore, it is easily read. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in the lives of people affected by today's politics and terrorism.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What an amazing book and an amazing town. I feel honored to actually have read this book and understand what so many passengers went through and experienced during their stranded days. What an amazing town, to come together like I've never heard of before. I can only hope that this book will open the eyes of all those who read it, and open their hearts as well.
gcs More than 1 year ago
I've read this 3 times, and will read it again. Gave a copy to my brother, who is not a reader, and he also loved it. He's passed it along to half the state of Rhode Island - where he lives. It would be nice, as someone said, if a sequel was written - catch us up on all the people involved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter's high school made this a mandatory summer read for all students. I read it first and loved it. Extremely well written and moves quickly. I live only 45 minutes from where the towers were and this is a perspective that I know I never thought about.
sjmccreary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't think any of us will ever forget September 11, 2001. We don't even need the year to remind us what happened on 9/11. It was a day of unspeakable horror, shock, sadness, and anger. And yet, despite the incredible display of human hatred and aggression, we've all heard stories of equally incredible kindness and generosity and cooperation as strangers reached out to help one another. This book is one of those stories. When American airspace was closed that day, there were dozens of planes bound for the United States that were not going to be permitted to enter the country. Our neighbor, Canada, was faced with the dilema of either accepting the flights we were refusing or sending them back. When they decided to accept them, no one knew how long it would take before travellers could continue on to the US. In the case of Gander, Newfoundland, though, people didn't wait to find out. As soon as the decision was made to force US-bound flights to land, the townspeople began preparing for company. Even though it would be hours before passengers were allowed off the planes, shelters were being set up, food was being prepared, and transportation was being arranged for the waylayed travellers. Gander used to be the site of a US military base, and has long been used as a re-fueling stop for trans-Atlantic and military flights. They have the facilities to handle large aircraft and that day they received more than 3 dozen planes in-bound from Europe, carrying more than 6,000 people. The individual stories of how the 10,000 local residents cared for all those strangers - feeding them, giving them bedding and shelter, taking them shopping and sightseeing and drinking, inviting them into their homes for showers and offering their telephones and computers to contact loved ones, and then staying up most of the night watching over sleeping families and doing laundry so that there would be clean towels in the morning - were absolutely heartwarming. Sometimes, with the constant barrage of bad news in the media, it is refreshing to be reminded that people are mostly good. We are giving, caring and generous. It's only too bad that it takes a tragedy to be reminded of that. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another side of the day that changed the world. This book reminded me how important it is to believe in the basic good in people.
caribird More than 1 year ago
Such an interesting story & piece of history I would have never known. A beautiful occurrence that came out of a horrible day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a wonderful story about the big hearts of strangers. too bad it had to come at such a great cost.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My book club read this and met to discuss it on September 12. This is a great story that had I not heard about. Its amazing what this town did for the people that were unable to complete their trip on that terrible day. Makes me eant to travel to Newfoundland.
SailingBuds More than 1 year ago
We enjoyed this book tremendously. Although the world will never forget 9/11, this book reminded me that there are kind and generous people out there. Author Jim DeFede wrote an excellent account of what it meant to those passengers whose planes were diverted and thus, spent nearly a week in the small towns of Newfoundland. These passengers were taken in and taken care of. Having spent a week along the southern coast of Newfoundland last summer, this book brought back memories of how the Newfies will do anything and more for you. It is a great read!
Sophia Crawford More than 1 year ago
At first long dut it was really good i even met the author jim defede
The_Mighty_Bonners More than 1 year ago
In the aftermath of the life changing events of 9/11, we have all heard tragic stories of loss and devastation. None of us will ever forget that day and the weeks and months that followed. I was hesitant when this book was first proposed at my book club, to commit to reading it, mainly because I was concerned that it may be a raw read. Now that I have finished the last chapter, I am so glad that I didn't trust my first reaction. What an amazing account of kindness and compassion on the grandest scale. I can't believe I had not heard about Gander, Newfoundland before this book. In a world where people tend to be caught up in there own lives and pay little attention to their neighbors, it's amazing that this small community committed to caring for so many displaced people. The expression "pay it forward" may come to mind as your read this book. The people of Gander made a lasting impression on their unexpected visitors and I would venture to guess established a legacy of community service in the hearts of many weary travelers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not much of a reader, but couldn't put this book down - it came highly recommended, and it wasn't hard to figure out why! I dare you to read just one chapter and put it down! 'Heartwarming' is an understatement! I think about eight people have borrowed my book so far...
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent book indeed. I live in Newfoundland and am very proud of our hospitality which also happens to be our tradition. Jim Defede done a superb job writing this book....great work me son!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book on vacation in Florida and could not put it down. I am so glad this story was shared with the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though I am a citizen of the United States, I am so proud of my heritage (being the child of a Newfie and also the wife of a Newfie). I found this book to be truly wonderful and yes, there are "no locks on the doors of Newfoundland". This book was so inspiritional and it brought many a tear to my eye.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With all of the negative that came out of 9/11 it is a nice change to hear about some the good, and this is one of those books. Amazing what the kindness of strangers can mean in a time of need. Illustrates that a caring spirit is still alive in the world & in Gander, Newfoundland.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a teacher and administrator I can only hope that all schools adopt this book as mandatory reading for all students. This book exposes the capabilities of the human heart. The character of the Gander people is beyond admirable. That is a society that I would wish to live in. The book has as many perspectives as it has characters. I implore all teachers to consider this as a teaching tool within their classroom. It has it all: Ethics, Morality, Multiculturalism, History, etc...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about one thing...COMMUNITY. I have refused over these past eleven months to get myself caught up in the 9/11 deluge of books, magazines and other assorted memorabilia. This book captured me from the very moment I read the dust cover and didn't let me go until I had finished (and it still hasn't turned loose). Mr Defede takes us behind the scenes and into the hearts and souls of both, the stranded international passengers and Gander, Newfoundland's citizens who opened up their town to these wayward voyagers. He does it with humanity, humor and a deft touch of caring. I strongly recommed this book for your reading enjoyment...and oh yes, you will shed a tear.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
So uplifting to read of the generosity of the citizens of Gander.
lauriesophee 9 months ago
A beautiful story of humanity while the world was in chaos. This book brings to light the good, the bad and the ugly and that goodness reigns when needed! "Here, everyone was equal, everyone was treated the same. Here, the basic humanity of man wasn't surviving but thriving." A small town in Canada who helped the "plane people" survive when planes were diverted from the USA during 9/11 and the days following. Truly inspirational!! A great read at this time of year when the memories resurface!