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Synopsis

"For the better part of a week, nearly every man, woman, and child in Gander and the surrounding smaller towns stopped what they were doing so they could help. They placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked for nothing in return. They affirmed the basic goodness of man at a time when it was easy to doubt such humanity still existed."

When thirty-eight jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001, due to the closing of United States airspace, the citizens of this small community were called upon to come to the aid of more than six thousand displaced travelers.

Roxanne and Clarke Loper were excited to be on their way home from a lengthy and exhausting trip to Kazakhstan, where they had adopted a daughter, when their plane suddenly changed course and they found themselves in Newfoundland. Hannah and Dennis O'Rourke, who had been on vacation in Ireland, were forced to receive updates by telephone on the search for their son Kevin, who was among the firefighters missing at the World Trade Center. George Vitale, a New York state trooper and head of the governor's security detail in New York City who was returning from a trip to Dublin, struggled to locate his sister Patty, who worked in the Twin Towers. A family of Russian immigrants, on their way to the Seattle area to begin a new life, dealt with the uncertainty of conditions in their future home.

The people of Gander were asked to aid and care for these distraught travelers, as well as for thousands more, and their response was truly extraordinary. Oz Fudge, the town constable, searched all over Gander for a flight-crew member so that he could give her a hug as a favor to her sister, a fellow law enforcement officer who managed to reach him by phone. Eithne Smith, an elementary-school teacher, helped the passengers staying at her school put together letters to family members all over the world, which she then faxed. Bonnie Harris, Vi Tucker, and Linda Humby, members of a local animal protection agency, crawled into the jets' cargo holds to feed and care for all of the animals on the flights. Hundreds of people put their names on a list to take passengers into their homes and give them a chance to get cleaned up and relax.

The Day the World Came to Town is a positively heartwarming account of the citizens of Gander and its surrounding communities and the unexpected guests who were welcomed with exemplary kindness.

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4.8 out of 5
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    Must read

    On 9/11 terrorists destroyed part of America, but what they didn't count on was the fact that something beautiful came out of their acts. This book shows the spirit of our people, the strength of humans and our ability to unite, and overcome anything. Thanks for telling this truly amazing story.

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    The Day the World Came to Town

    After so many years, it is heartening to hear that there are still good and caring people in the world!

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    The Day The World Came To Town

    Loved it! Heartwarming! Way to go Newfoundland. Doing all Canadians proud. The book is well written and the personal stories are captivating.

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    No price tags on the doors of Newfoundland

    I enjoyed how Defede took time to give some background information on Newfoundland as a province and the importance of Gander International Airport in aviation. The famous Newfoundland hospitality really speaks for itself. This book describes how Newfoundlanders donated everything from towels and bedding to clothing and even the use of their own bathrooms, to make sure their unexpected visitors had everything they needed. As an old song goes: "There are No Price Tags on the Doors of Newfoundland" This topic is important in that it shows a strong friendship between our (Canadian and American) two countries. When one country is in crisis, another stepped up to offer aid. I would recommend this book to those who are interested in Canadian-American relations and those who enjoy reading nonfiction.

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    Really enjoyed this book! Very interesting and some wonderful moments.

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