I was pulling into my parking space underneath my office building when I heard the news flash on the radio that a plane had hit one of the World Trade towers. A while later, I heard about the 2nd crash. It didn’t really register in my brain what was going on. Busy with deadlines and meetings for the rest of the day, I got caught up in my own world. It wasn’t until I got home and sat in front of the television with My Husband that I saw what had happened. When I saw the towers collapse, I burst into tears. Such a terrible, terrible tragedy. One that has changed forever how I view the world.
Gander International Airport played a big part in Operation Yellow Ribbon. It’s a small airport, and I believe is usually used as a refueling stop for international flights. However, on September 11, 2001 the residents of Gander accepted close to 40 transatlantic flights, more than any other Canadian airport, originally meant to land at different locations in the U.S. Over 6,500 people had to stay in Gander for days, waiting for airspace to be reopened.
The residents of Gander jumped into action and food was prepared, buildings and homes were made ready to accept guests and even entertainment was organized to help weary travelers from dozens of countries pass the time. They not only opened their homes but their hearts. Lufthansa has an airbus named Gander/Halifax as a thank you to both cities. :-)
At a time when our southern and international neighbours needed us, Canada did not hesitate to step up. This is a sad anniversary and my thoughts are with the families that lost someone precious to them on that day. This anniversary also reminds me of how very proud I am to be Canadian.