Thursday, 23 August 2007

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede

This was an incredibly inspiring and thought provoking book. The kindness displayed by the population of Gander to so many people who were passengers on the planes that could not enter US air space is overwhelming. I was touched by many of the stories - Orthodox Jewish people, and the the story of the Jewish chap who had lived in Newfoundland since the War years and not told his wife he was Jewish, the lady who left complete strangers in her home to shower inviting them to rest and relax and to simply close the door when they left. The trust of the Newfoundlanders during a time filled with mistrust was amazing. Not to mention the story of the young couple bringing back to the US their adopted daughter and of course the couple whose son was a firefighter in New York.

There are days in history and our lifetimes that we can always remember exactly what we were doing at the very moment the news broke, at about 3pm UK time. The day of 9/11, I spent in a series of meetings, the last one at a Doctors practice, as one of the company's branches has a close relationship with the practice. As I was leaving the news was announced over the radio, and all the staff rushed to the staffing area to put the TV on. We all stood in complete disbelief watching the images, asking why?

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