At 8:46am on September 11, 2001 Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. At 8:55am workers in the South Tower were advised to remain in their offices as only the North Tower was affected. Eight minutes later Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. Massive evacuation efforts began in both Towers as flights were grounded in New York City, Boston, Cleveland, and Washington. At 9:37am Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
US airspace was closed for the first time in history at 9:45am. Approximately 500 flights were en route to the US. Those that were more than halfway to North America were almost all redirected to Canadian airports. Of the 238 flights redirected to Canada, 39 landed in Gander, Newfoundland. A town of 10,000 people suddenly had 6,000 visitors.
The people of Gander and the surrounding towns put their lives on hold to care for the stranded passengers. Striking bus drivers laid down their picket signs to ferry passengers to temporary accommodations in schools, legion halls, and churches. Local people donated food and bed linens, opening their homes to strangers so passengers could shower. Neighborhood stores let stranded passengers take whatever items they needed free of charge. The Day the World Came to Town profiles the individuals involved and tells a heartwarming story amidst tragic events.
The Day the World Came to Town on Amazon