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The True Story Behind the Events on 9/11 that Inspired Broadway’s Smash Hit Musical Come from Away, Featuring All New Material from the Author
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.
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.
“A remarkable true story...a must read for everyone.”
— Huffington Post
“When you read this book, I predict tears in your eyes almost from the beginning...tears of joy and pride for the citizens of Gander, Newfoundland, who bravely stood up and said to the world ‘Today, we are all Americans.’”
— Homer Hickam, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rocket Boys
“Jim DeFede has written a wonderful and engaging account that reaffirms the remarkable humanity and kindness that flourished in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.”
— Gerald Posner, New York Times bestselling author of Pharma and Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK
“Here the generous Newfoundlanders get due recognition.”
— Publishers Weekly