September 11th, 2001.
The day that changes lives forever.
Where were you on that day? Do you remember? This is something that you will never forget if it affected you.
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Where was I?
I’ll never forget. I was in my last year of high school. I was in Home Maintenace class. This was a class where we learned basic skills needed; plumbing, plastering, wallpapering, painting, wiring, etc. I had to take this course to get a credit for graduation. The credit system has changed since then. Our teacher had left the room to get something and had disappeared for about 30 minutes. A bunch of us did what work we could without him but couldn’t go no further. We eventually went to try to find him and met him in the hallway. He ended up getting distracted by news that one of the towers of the World Trade Center had been hit. He had printed off an article to show us the devastation. However at that point we had no idea the impact it would have on the island of Newfoundland.
Fast forward a few hours and we learn more about what had happened after school let out. It covered the News and all stations was airing a special broadcast. Two towers had bit hit, planes hijacked, and planes were being forced to land where ever they could. The phone lines were blocked; we couldn’t call out or receive any calls. There was no dial tones on our phones and we were lucky when we were able to. It was nothing like I had ever seen in my 17 years of live.
Many of you have probably heard of Gander, Newfoundland. If not from the various broadcasts and news articles over the years, then probably from the Broadway Musical ‘Come From Away’.
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THE REMARKABLE TRUE STORY OF THE SMALL TOWN THAT WELCOMED THE WORLD.
Check out the Come From Away website to learn more and see videos from the musical!
Gander is a town about 45 minutes from the community I grew up in. We went to Gander for everything we needed. However, on this day the small town opened up their home and resources to the planes that were forced to land at the airport in Gander. The hotels, community centers, schools, halls, and whatever building could be used to make people feel more comfortable were opened to embrace the individuals on these planes. They were given food, water, a place to sleep, any necessities they needed. Individuals opened up their homes and offered a warm meal and shower. Everyone worked together to make their stay the best they could given the circumstances.
Since 9/11 I know of a monument that was set up in Gander, I’ve seen the story shared numerous times, and I’ve also heard of individuals who have become friends and traveled back to Newfoundland to visit under much happier circumstances. Just yesterday I read a comment that my Aunt had made on Facebook telling about a couple who were visiting and attended the church she attends yesterday morning. Some bonds were formed during that time that will never be unbroken.
It is something I’ll never forget.