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Username Post: Brokaw's piece on Gander, Newfoundland and 09/11        (Topic#524205)
DPR4444
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02-28-10 06:55 AM - Post#1174266    



Yesterday I happened to see Tom Brokaw's story on the role the small town of Gander, NF played on 09/11. Did anyone else see this? I am sure it will pop up on youtube or elsewhere online soon, but I couldn't find it this morning. It is a story that should be told, and not forgotten. Here is a summary I found online:

"
Gander is a small town of 10,000 residents in northeastern Newfoundland. The town has two stoplights and two police officers, and the people are largely descendants of Scots and Irish, living in an often harsh, rural environment. Once a refueling stop for transatlantic flights, Gander also happens to have a large airport and houses a key Nav Canada air traffic control center. While the advent of the jumbo jet made stops at Gander obsolete, that all changed on Sept 11, 2001.

Following the attacks of that day, air traffic was grounded across N. America. As a result, some 167 westbound transatlantic flights that had passed the halfway point were redirected to airports around Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces, all controlled by Gander center. The Arrivals sector staffing was quickly increased from its normal three controllers to 14 to reroute all of the aircraft over a seven hour period. Gander International Airport (CYQX/YQX), which normally handles 8 domestic flights per day, received 38 aircraft, many jumbo jets, parked around the taxiways with nearly 7,000 passengers. Processing immigration for all of these passengers took over 24 hours, with the last passengers finally entering the airport terminal at noon on Wed, Sep 12.

Subsequently, Gander needed to absorb this near doubling of its population. With little notice, the residents of Gander responded with incredible kindness and generosity. Passengers were bused to schools, churches, and legion halls where temporary shelters were set up (Gander has only 500 hotel beds). The locals rushed to meet them with home cooked meals and other necessities. As the passengers were not allowed to access their checked baggage, residents donated clothes and opened their shops free of charge. Prescriptions were filled by the two local pharmacies at no cost. Residents opened their homes to these stranded travelers. “Everybody just put everything on hold to take care of us.”

Four days later, U.S. airspace reopened and the passengers continued onto their original destinations. However, many lasting friendships were forged over that short period, thanks to the kindness of the Ganderites. With the residents refusing to accept monetary thanks, the passengers of Delta flight 15 established a college scholarship fund for local students; from $15,000 pledged on the flight from Gander to Atlanta, the fund has now grown to nearly $900,000. Several passengers featured in the piece have returned to visit their friends in Gander, and a monument now stands there in honor of their generosity.

Bravo to the residents of Gander and the surrounding area."


Our two countries compete against each other today in the sport all FCers hold dear, and yes, I definitely want my country to win. But a story like this puts perspective on the unique relationship we have.
"He shaved his head and shed his gloom..."




Edited by DPR4444 on 02-28-10 06:56 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
porksoda
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02-28-10 08:16 AM - Post#1174293    


    In response to DPR4444

absolutely great story. It's times like that which shows the character of a nation and it's people.
"Funny thing about weekends when your unemployed...they don't mean quite so much"


 
Berry
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02-28-10 08:42 AM - Post#1174300    


    In response to porksoda

Wow! I did not know anything about that aspect of the 9/11 tragedy. Major kudos to the Gander folks. In the midst of terrible event, they showed the other side of the spectrum of humanity is alive and well. Thanks for posting this, DPR..I otherwise would not likely have known of this.
 
Arctaurus
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02-28-10 09:26 AM - Post#1174303    


    In response to Berry

What an exceptional story, I know many maritime cities opened their homes to stranded air line passengers not just Gander. It really shows the generosity and good will of most Maritimers; some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition.

Henry V - Shakespeare


 
DPR4444
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02-28-10 10:44 AM - Post#1174344    


    In response to Arctaurus

I really hope NBC replays it, or puts it up on their website ASAP.


I also plan to send a check to that scholarship foundation this week.
"He shaved his head and shed his gloom..."




Edited by DPR4444 on 02-28-10 10:45 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
Captain Insano
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02-28-10 10:49 AM - Post#1174349    


    In response to DPR4444

Too bad it only took 9 years for a story like this to become newsworthy. Great story
Free Vacation Condos @ www.timeshares4free.com




 
edmuzz
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02-28-10 11:03 AM - Post#1174355    


    In response to Takedown

I just happened to turn to NBC right at the beginning of this rather long piece. What a great story!
 
plett
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02-28-10 11:32 AM - Post#1174376    


    In response to edmuzz

I caught that story yesterday. Heartwarming tale.
"So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal"
The Great Phil Ochs


 
glockman30
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02-28-10 11:53 AM - Post#1174386    


    In response to Takedown

  • Captain Insano Said:
Too bad it only took 9 years for a story like this to become newsworthy. Great story



That was my thoughts after I read it. Their needs to be more positive stories like this.
You can easily judge the character of a man by the way he treats those who can do nothing for him.
- General Wayne Downing


 
Plett#24
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02-28-10 04:05 PM - Post#1174452    


    In response to glockman30

Theres a great book about this called The Day The World Came To Town: 9/11 in Gander Newfoundland

written by Jim DeFede

Edited by Plett#24 on 02-28-10 04:06 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
242
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02-28-10 04:35 PM - Post#1174467    


    In response to Plett#24

I wonder if there was a spike in births 9 months later


 
Maniwaki Mauler
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02-28-10 07:51 PM - Post#1174624    


    In response to 242

Newfies and Canadian east coasters are amazing people. So much hospitality and genuine people. They love to meet new people and entertain. I have never met a newfie i didnt like.
-- trust is something that comes easy, when you've never been a victim


 
clarky
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02-28-10 09:51 PM - Post#1174651    


    In response to Maniwaki Mauler

My brother lives just outside of there with his wife and they opened their home like many others to two young ladies who were sleeping in the school gymnasium across town. The outreach was amazing all around that area.
Don't complain, and don't explain - Wendel Clark -


 
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