We took off heading home after a tour in Kuwait. We landed in Shannon Ireland for fuel and were off again to the U.S. about 1/2 way across the Atlantic there was an announcement from the cockpit saying an aircraft has hit a World Trade Center Tower. We thought it was a tragic accident.
The announcements continued as each event happened.
Finally we were told the the airspace over the entire United States had been shut down and all inbound aircraft needed to be diverted.
Below is a video Tom Brokaw narrated of the event in a small town of Gander, Newfoundland in northeastern Canada.
As you can see, we stayed in churches, schools, and a gymnasium.
What you can not see is how all the men women and children helped pull their resources together and set up cots and tables and chairs as they set their emergency action checklists in motion.
Also what was missing in the video were the smiles on the faces of the women practically trotting down the middle of the street carrying hot dishes of food they had made in their own kitchens taking them to one of the facilities set up for us. We not only drained the local food stores in town but also from towns for a hundred miles around and no one wanted a dime for anything from us, they were happy to give what ever they had.
Tears are now welting up in my eyes just reminiscing the events 20 years ago this year of the wonderful people who opened their hearts and kitchens to us and how lucky we are to have loving family just to the north of us.
I will cherish these memories and the relationship we have between Canada and the U.S. for as long as I have a memory.
The town of Gander was presented a piece of steel from the towers in gratitude and memory of their people helping us we we needed it most. It’s a great video of how it was transported all the way up the coast with a motorcycle escort. I’d like to go back up there and see it some day.
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