“Everyone, take this to heart, think of how you can make a little difference in the world if you have a positive attitude.”
– Community of Gander, Newfoundland
I believe true character is revealed in times of unexpected crisis. When one has no time to prepare or think about how they should react, they are forced to respond based on instinct. So many of the events of September 11, 2001 were absolutely devastating to us as individuals and as the human race. Many of us continue to carry a tremendous amount of pain deep in our hearts because of what happened that day.
However, is 9/11 a story about how evil prevailed, broke our spirits and left us incapable of moving forward together? Absolutely not. In fact, many stories from that fateful day are of incredible courage, compassion, and cooperation. Those are the stories I prefer to pay attention to.
The fine people of Gander, Newfoundland were not expecting 38 wide-body aircraft and more than 7,000 passengers to descend onto their little town of less than 10,000 on September 11, 2001, but boy, did they ever show up for those passengers and show the world what true Canadian character looks like. The passengers were offered clothing, food, shelter… some were even thrown birthday parties.
There are so many incredibly heart-warming and inspiring little sub-plots to what happened in Gander that week and the ripple-effect created by everyone involved has gone all the way to Broadway and back again and is still being felt today.
Take a quick look at the trailer below for an amazing documentary on the subject. It got me right in the feels. You can find more information on the documentary here. You can watch the full documentary too.
How proud are you of the amazing people of Gander? Do you think they are a great example of Canadian character?
Image: Gander Airport Authority