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

Jim DeFede
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (308 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The events of September 11 have seemingly been covered, analyzed, and discussed from every angle imaginable. So the subject matter alone of Jim DeFede's The Day the World Came to Town makes it noteworthy. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 38 commercial airliners carrying over 6,000 passengers were forced, as a precautionary measure, to land in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. Due to the ongoing closure of U.S. airspace, the passengers spent four days in this isolated town of 10,000 before being allowed to continue on their way. In that time, Gander's residents rallied together to extend a kind of hospitality that seems too expansive for the word hospitality. Townspeople not only opened schools and legion halls for use as emergency shelters, they invited the passengers into their homes for showers, meals, and warm beds while local businesses simply gave toiletries and clothing to passengers stuck without luggage. Despite the grim consequences that led to the situation, DeFede finds humor: two flight attendants are offered a car for sightseeing by a local woman who happened to be driving by; the stranded chairman of Hugo Boss finds himself shopping for men's underwear at the local Wal-Mart. But the real message of the book is how, even in times of great turmoil and conflict, people can and must look to one another for comfort, help, and hope. --John Moe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Journalist Defede calls our attention to a sidelight of the events of September 11, when the town of Gander (pop. 10,000) was overwhelmed by more than 6,500 air travelers grounded when U.S. airspace was shut down. For a week, DeFede relates, the locals provided food, shelter and supplies and reassurance; "they placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked nothing in return." Here the generous Newfoundlanders get due recognition. Photos. (Sept.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Through selective interviews, this book describes events surrounding the 6595 people on board 38 planes whose transit across the Atlantic was disrupted when they were vectored to the airport in Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001. As a chronicle of the heartwarming reception these passengers received from touchdown until departure six days later, the volume resounds with tributes to the kindness and acts of generosity on the part of local residents (population 10,000). Quick-thinking initiatives led by the mayor, constable, air-traffic controllers, and local heads of professional disaster-relief agencies organized a process for greeting deplaning passengers; checking luggage; fulfilling immigration/security requirements; and then transporting groups to churches, schools, and community centers where they were housed and fed. One account tells of volunteers from Gander's SPCA who crawled through the cargo spaces of the jetliners, locating pets and animals in cages, and bringing them food, water, and fresh bedding until they could be moved to a vacant hangar. Separate vignettes focus on the parents of a New York City firefighter who was missing, on a Texas couple returning from adopting an orphan in Kazakhstan, on a teenage cancer victim en route home following a "make- a-wish" trip to Italy, and more. Each of these stories will resonate with teens.
Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

On September 11, 2001, 38 jetliners bound for the U.S. were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Newfoundland after the terrorists' attack resulted in the closing of all American airspace. The planes carried 6,595 passengers and crew members; Gander's population is barely 10,000. This book is the story of how the people of Gander and the surrounding smaller towns worked around the clock for the next six days to help these stranded travelers. They prepared meals and--in some cases--took strangers into their homes. The Red Cross collected linens and toiletries for the passengers who had no access to their suitcases. A local brewery offered free samples of beer, animals on the planes were cared for in a vacant hanger, kosher meals were provided for a rabbi, and a volunteer taxi service helped passengers get around town. Readers could do without all the stilted dialogue that DeFede has created to move the story along, but the book nevertheless is an engaging account of these copious acts of kindness. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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