As the planes, still packed with passengers, sat for hours at the airport, the town bustled with activity. “People would huddle around the person who got ahold of their loved ones and pass notes that said call this person to tell people we’re OK,” McKinzie says.
GANDER, Newfoundland — They still don't know what all the fuss is about. They were so kind to you. Two flights have been diverted so far after spilled beverages shut down engines. And it was happening now, not tomorrow, not 6 or 7 hours away. And as airline pilots, we don’t normally get orders...I had made up my mind that I wanted to tell the truth, but I didn't want to tell too much, because I didn’t want to cause havoc in the back of the airplane," said Bass. This Tiny Newfoundland Town Adopted Thousands of Americans Stranded at Its Airport On 9/11 Operation Yellow Ribbon is still an excellent reminder of the best that we can be. Kelly Sceviour, one of Sunday's organizers, was working in the town's community centre 15 years ago when a plane carrying a group from the Children's Wish Foundation was diverted to Gander while en route to Disney World. It told me that every stove in Gander had been turned on all night long, because they made enough food to feed 7,000 passengers and they only have a population of 9,400.”. 2003. Your email address will not be published. “When we landed, I remember looking out the window and seeing people with cameras and I thought, ‘Wow, what’s going on,’ ” Waddle says. The two Kansas City-area women were caught in a hinge in history – the 9/11 terrorist attacks. To say this town of 10,000 people and its surrounding communities welcomed the passengers and crew from nearly 100 countries with open arms is an understatement. In Gander, this meant receiving dozens of trans-Atlantic flights that were close enough to the North American coastline to justify not sending them back to Europe, which was considered a safer option. Longtime Gander resident, Beujah Cooper, recalled, “When I heard that there was a planeload coming in, the first thing I said was ‘Thank God they are coming here, because I know that they will be looked after.'”. Pharmacists in town worked around the clock, calling dozens of countries to fill prescriptions. You Are Here - A Come From Away Story is an intimate feature documentary that goes deep into the community of Gander, Newfoundland where 38 airliners carrying over 6,500 passengers were forced to land after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. And then there were the trips to Walmart. © 2020 Public Television 19, Inc. (Kansas City PBS). When Waddle tried to pay for washing her clothes at a laundromat, a resident stepped in and put the coins in the machine. “A lot of people offered to take us to their homes, but we thought, we’re healthy, no problem for us,” McKinzie says. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. 9/11 Gander gift. The service raised funds and awareness for Wounded Warriors Canada, a group dedicated to honouring and supporting injured soldiers, veterans, first responders and their families. Not long after, another opportunity came and they were on their way to Dallas. As the flights began to pile up, that number ballooned to 14. The actions of the people of Gander, Newfoundland should remind all of us that we aren't as divided as we think, we have more in common than not, and despite being in the midst of something as disheartening and discouraging as a pandemic, there are still many good people doing good things for each other. "We were ordered to land immediately in Gander, Newfoundland. After that arduous process had ended, there was still a big problem: housing, feeding, and providing basic necessities to all of those people, especially considering they weren't allowed to retrieve their checked baggage from the planes due to security concerns and overall logistics. The experiences of thousands of passengers and crew members given safe harbor in Gander, a remote Canadian town of about 10,000, are the basis of “Come From Away,” a musical being staged tonight through Sunday at the Music Hall. ©2020 FOX News Network, LLC. A parade of first responders enters 9/11 service in Gander, led by NYPD officers who responded this day 15 years ago pic.twitter.com/qqEKk8V64R, The @Tunnel2Towers group has arrived with a large group of motorcycles from across Atlantic Canada and New York. It took two to three hours to process each jetliner that landed. Your email address will not be published. When you sign up for Flatland’s newsletter, you get Kansas City stories dropped in your inbox every Thursday.
They were on one of 38 civilian flights diverted that day to Gander, Newfoundland, where they spent the next five days. Box 500 Station A Toronto, ON Canada, M5W 1E6. Their simple hospitality to the unexpected house guests drew worldwide accolades and even inspired a Broadway musical. “It just absolutely floored me.”. All rights reserved. It's a reminder that even a small act of kindness or compassion can make a difference. Harper Collins. When Garry Tuff, then acting manager of safety and security for emergency response services at Gander International Airport, saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center, he knew his town of 10,000 people would be impacted.
“When your air mattress touches another person’s air mattress, you become really good friends,” Waddle says.
ISBN 978-0-06-055971-7. Initially, McKinzie thought it was a nuclear bomb. Then, there were the smokers on board, unable to get a fix for hours. Bus drivers in the middle of a nasty strike laid down picket signs. While on board, passengers could freely walk around the plane and were offered unlimited snacks and movies, but many people watched what was happening outside. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. For the citizens of Gander, a town of around 10,000 at the time, however, the answer was simple. Bass said, "There had been that many planes in Gander at one time, but it was during World War II, and they were all smaller airplanes. Sixteen years after his Air France flight from Paris to New York diverted to Gander, Tuerff, 51, is a character in the musical, author of the book Channel of Peace: Stranded in Gander on 9/11 and the force behind a Pay It Forward 9/11 movement that urges everyone to perform acts of kindness each year. “I remember her saying, ‘I lost a lot of friends today,’ ” McKinzie recalls. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
All in all, 38 airliners and four military aircraft landed at Gander that day, and 6,595 people had to be screened before they stepped off their planes—which reports claim took over 24 hours. We rely on readers like you to uphold a free press. Everyone on board remained calm, although McKinzie began to understand how grave the situation was when she noticed hushed conversations between the crew and a nearby passenger. This content is currently not available in your region. Gander: This Canadian airport sheltered 7,000 people on 9/11 Francesca Street, CNN • Published 13th July 2019 (CNN) — Craggy cliffs and verdant forestry, flat … It was that simple. For a regular airport, this would've been less of an issue, however, Gander International airport—a leftover airbase from World War II—only had three air traffic controllers on duty. Passengers had to let someone at the hall know where they were going so they could be notified of a departure. Airlines' Grounded Boeing 737s May Have Developed Fatal Engine Defect in Storage: FAA, Airbus Redesigns A350 Center Console Because Pilots Keep Spilling Coffee on Critical Instruments. Jackie Pinto was on a flight to Newark, N.J. when she was diverted to Gander International Airport on Sept. 11, 2001.
And there were some very fortunate people who became friends with McKinzie and Waddle.
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