“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Throughout the morning of September 11, 2001, 39 international flights were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland, Canada as a part of the shut-down of airspace over the United States following the attacks on the World Trade Center. The 10,000 residents of Gander were suddenly inundated with almost 7,000 complete strangers–passengers and flight crews. Over the next several days, the tiny town opened their homes, businesses, and resources, providing food, housing, clothing, medicine and emotional support for the incredibly diverse “plane people”–from Orthodox Jews to Moldovan refugee families who spoke no English.
The story of gracious hospitality and uncommon kindness is now a Broadway musical, “Come From Away” which opened on March 12, 2017. One reviewer, Jennifer Vanasco of WNYC, described the show as “a love letter…to what people can do if they set aside fear and hate.”
Questions for Reflection
How would you want to be treated if you were suddenly stranded in a strange place?
Why do you think the kind of hospitality Gander residents showed is so unusual and rare?