Why "Come From Away" is the 9/11 Story We All Want to Hear
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Politics and Activism

Why "Come From Away" is the 9/11 Story We All Want to Hear

How the people of Gander showed love in the time of tragedy

Why "Come From Away" is the 9/11 Story We All Want to Hear
The New York Times

Today is a day that we will never forget.

16 years ago the world stood still. 16 years ago I was a kid who didn't understand the gravity of what had just happened in New York. 16 years ago everything changed.

I was little when 9/11 happened. My mom hid the truth from us and I am thankful for that. I wasn't ready to know what had happened. How do you even begin to explain what happened that fateful morning to a child?

As I grew up, I learned more about what happened on that terrible Tuesday. I was horrified at what had happened and cried when I watched footage from that morning. Oddly enough, I wished I was older when it happened. Then, just maybe, I could have done something to help. I remember my mom telling me about how all across the country, people prayed and donated all they could to help. It was the darkest day in my lifetime (and many others as well) and we as a nation banded together closer than we had in years. I wished I was older and could have donated blood like many Americans (and people from other countries) had. My heart breaks every time I think of all the lives that were lost and all the families that suffered that day. I am never prouder than when I think of the firefighters and first responders who calmly walked towards the towers as everyone else ran away in terror. Even as I write this, tears are threatening to fall. How can people commit horrific acts like this?

I heard so many stories about that day from New York and I forgot that there were other implications from that day. One story I never knew about, happened around 1,500 miles from New York.

It happened in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada.

The story is that when 9/11 happened, American airspace was closed. This meant that tons of planes had to be rerouted. For Gander (and lots of other small towns), that meant that they would suddenly have thousands of airline passengers to deal with. They didn't have to do what they did, but they took care of the passengers. They cleared the school for people to sleep, the filled churches, and any other public buildings they could. They made enough food to feed 7,000 people and gave them anything the passengers might have needed. Medicine, clothes, food, bedding, and perhaps most importantly, kindness.

If you haven't checked it out yet, go listen to "Come From Away". This is a broadway show that highlights the people of Gander and the passengers who found themselves in the middle of nowhere, lost and devastated. The musical was nominated for seven Tony awards, including best musical. It won for best direction, but was definitely worthy in every other category.

The musical is praised for its reminder of the capacity for human kindness in terrible times and the triumph of humanity over hate.

So if you find yourself feeling down and sad on Monday, then maybe take the time to listen to "Come From Away". It will remind you that humans are inherently kind and just because 16 years ago there was a tragedy that changed the world forever rooted in hate, love and humanity will always win and lead us out of the darkness.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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