Bottom line up front (BLUF):
On September 14, 2018 my parents and I will be flying to the little town of Gander Newfoundland Canada. We have wanted to make this trip since we heard of the story about a year after 9/11 and are finally at a time where we are able to do it. Our goal is to go there are say thank you to the residents of Gander for assisting Americans during a time when we were attacked. We will be going into bars in the town and buying people breakfast, lunch, dinner, and rounds of drinks all to just say thank you. We have specific people who played a significant role in 9/11 that we are reaching out to. Over all we just want to go show our appreciation and give thanks for what they did to help our fellow citizens. We will be collecting donations for those of you who want to join us and help us say thank you to the residents of the tiny town of Gander Newfoundland. If you would like to buy a beer to say thank you to the residents we have set up a donation. While we are completely okay with buying these people rounds on our own dime, we wanted to extend the offer to those who also want to say thank you. Any of the money that is not used directly towards the people we meet will go to the Lewisporte Area Flight 15 “Delta 15” Scholarship Fund. The scholarship initiated on 13 September 2001, 2 days after the attacks. Passengers who started to board their airplanes to go back home, wanted so badly to show a way to say thank you. Delta 15 collected money from its passengers on the way back to America. The initial donation from just that one flight was $15,000. The scholarship still runs to this day. For those of you who don’t know the story and the significance of this town, I will summarize.
On September 11, 2001 after two planes struck the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon, and Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, the FAA had shut down the airspace above America. Air traffic controllers throughout the country and Canada were forced to figure out how to land over 4,000 flights that were airborne above American airspace and hundreds more inbound to the United States from Europe. In the little town of Gander Newfoundland, a town of 10,000 people, there was an airport that had to figure out how to land 38 planes that carried approximately 7,000 passengers (mostly American citizens). The town had a total of 500 hotel beds and not enough room for approximately 7,000 displaced Americans who’s home was just attacked by evil. That is where the people of Gander come in. The entire town literally opened their doors to strangers. They opened their shops and their pharmacy’s, and their clothing stores and allowed the displaced American’s to have what they needed free of charge. They created shelters in all of their buildings and everyone cooked home cooked meals for strangers that they did not know. They sat together and watched in shock of the pure evil that had attacked the United State of America. One of our own, Firefighter Kevin O’Rourke from Rescue 2 in Brooklyn was killed in the North Tower. His parents, Hannah and Dennis O’Rourke were among those diverted to Canada and unsure at the time if their son was alive or not. Mrs. Beulah Cooper of Gander opened her doors and went to church every day with them to pray for their son. Although Kevin was one of the 343 firefighter who were killed on that day, his family became lifelong friends and eternally grateful to the people of Gander for how they supported them during the hardest time in their lives.
The people of Gander did not hesitate in assisting us in our time of need and distress. Friendships that will last a lifetime were formed by complete strangers who’s selfless acts of kindness, comforted and assisted thousands of Americans on a day of chaos.
We want to thank them.
Below is the link to the yellow ribbon video that tells the story
Full Story of Gander - Yellow Ribbon
Short Video of Gander on 9/11
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