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The Day the World Came to Town

9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (485 ratings)
Regular price: $21.95
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Publisher's Summary

Perfect for fans of the musical Come From Away!

When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill. As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.

©2002 Jim DeFede (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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Humanity's Best

On the darkest of days shines a bright light.

Thank you, people of Gander, for bringing the best of humanity to the people stranded in your towns on 9/11.

Even this many years after 9/11/01, listening to this book brought back all of the memories of that terrible day. And while I had heard of the events in Gander, listening to the specifics - the logistics of landing all of those airplanes, housing and feeding thousands of people, giving ear to the pain and prayer for the lost - what an amazing people.

If you need a bit of encouragement, listen to The Day the World Came to Town.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

This book is a very good reminder of the good still left in the world in the mist of dark times. I made me cry in some parts. It reminded me of the historic day of 9/11 and the emotions is had build inside me as I watch things play out live on TV. We as the world are a community and we often for get it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Proof of kindness in an often harsh world

For fans of the musical Come From Away, this book is an excellent companion. There's enough of the musical story here to please, with enough extra material to keep it from feeling repetitive. The two are not exact replicas! It's fascinating to learn about all the logistics at play on that horrific day, and heartwarming to see yet another example of the capacity for human kindness that exists when tragedy strikes -- and the amazing community of kind people in Newfoundland in general. The narration is absolutely stellar. Ray Porter reads as if he's relaying his own personal story, with a richness of tone and expression unmatched by most general (as opposed to celebrity) narrators, in my opinion. This is a must listen!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A look back at one of the worst days in US history

Read all of my reviews at bit.ly/PageBedtime

When the terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, there were many air crafts headed for the U.S. Understandably, President George W. Bush closed air space and threatened to shoot anyone down attempting to fly in the U.S. As a result, many travelers were stranded all over the world. And hundreds of them ended up in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland in Canada. The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede is the non-fiction account of how the citizens, affectionately referred to as Newfies, cared for not only Americans, but people from all over the world during those tenuous three days after the attacks.

It was nice listening to this audiobook so many years after the attacks. I write this because we are far enough removed from them to be able to reminisce without all of the emotion from the events of the day as well as the aftermath. That is not to say this book was not emotional. It was touching. It made me smile. It made me tear up. It made me think. Our neighbors to the north took care of us, without reservation. And no matter what the 2018 Administration thinks, the people from Canada are our strong allies.

Throughout the book, we learn about many different people: a couple who was bringing their newly adopted daughter from abroad, a mother who was on her way home but very stressed to learn that her son, a firefighter, had last been seen entering one of the Twin Towers, and an executive from the Hugo Boss company. In this audiobook version, I also listened to the stories of people who were not only new to Gander but their culture was as well. An orthodox Jew and a Nigerian princess were among the passengers who took refuge in this town. What was so amazing to me about this true story is that no matter the differences, the town came together and built on what united them - humanity - and in the midst of extreme tragedy, they took care of these people like extended family members. Because we are in such contentious political times in the United States today, it was nice to listen to this book and be reminded that people do care for one another and we are stronger together.

Recommendation: I absolutely enjoyed this perspective of such a horrific time in U.S. history. I think everyone can benefit from reading this book. Fair warning, grab a box of tissues before you do!

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or am gifted one, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Read all of my reviews at bit.ly/PageBedtime

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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MUST READ!

I started reading this because of the musical, Come From Away and I must say that this is fascinating! Everyone needs to hear this history, it's so unknown for such kindness. Proof that we can see the best of humanity even when it's showing it's worst.

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Current History

A wonderful story recounting a horrific time in our history and the compassion that is within all of us.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Love Thy Neighbor

This was a beautiful reminder of the unity and compassion we experienced after the 9/11 tragedy. The people of Gander are the purest example of our “better angels” in loving action. They healed hearts and souls through there kindness and generosity. I will never forget this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I had no idea!

thank you for sharing this incident in the world's history that was largely overlooked. Just learning about Newfoundland would have been worth the read but I feel like these people are family now. Thank you to all of those who sacrificed to make a terrifying experience as pleasant as possible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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excellent story!

I was hardly able to focus on anything else until this story was completed! The story was heartwarming indeed and was well read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Reminds us that there are good prople

After seeing Come From Away i wanted to learn more about Gander. Such a wonderful telling of so many stories. Thank you

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • zero
  • 07-19-18

well read well written

interesting piece of history idk about told with style and humour of a difficult subject. only issue was the very many obvious edits in narration, sometimes 2 or 3 sessions in one paragraph... minor gripe

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  • Jennifer2
  • 02-10-19

Interesting info

An interesting series of events which happened as result of 9/11. It was quite a remarkable logistical exercise to get it all rolling efficiently with virtually no warning.
A down side to the book was trying to turn the passengers into 'individual stories'. That part was stretched, clichéd and even irritating at times. If the townsfolk were trying to hug strangers or distract them as often as suggested, it would have been unreal. I feel confident that they actually just did a fantastic job of welcoming and caring for the equivelant of a "town-full" of folk from all over the world.