Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Book Review: The Day The World Came to Town

There are many stories about 9/11 told through movie, book and personal experience. A story less known are the stories in Gander, New Foundland retold in Jim DeFede’s book “The Day the World Came to Town.” When hundreds of planes were stranded in the air on the morning of Sept, 11, with no place to land, Gander opened its airfield and welcomed the panes and the thousands of passengers with open arms. 

Though the heavy feeling of loss and insecurity is still present throughout this telling, the book focuses on how this town opened their homes, hearts, kitchens, linen closers—their lives—to the unexpected visitors. 

I enjoyed seeing the experience and reaction fo such varied groups of people from all over the world. Parents of a New York firefighter, high-fashion NY executives, high-level business leaders, pilots and crew, young tourists and even animal passengers. Each person on those planes had a story to tell, as did the New Foundlanders who helped them.

By spending a good amount of time in Gander, the author was able to get personal with the folks who live there and gather amazing stories. He shares them in an honest and touching way. My only complaint is that with such a large cast, it was hard for me to keep everyone straight. He does a relatively good job but there were just so many people. Perhaps that is part of the magnitude of the event and the story he is telling.

Overall, this is a fantastic story of unity and an inspiring community reaching out to help others in need. This book shows a heart warming side of a harrowing piece of American history. 

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