103 Squadron SAR Gander/QMI Agency Files
More than 20 planes carrying 6,500 passengers and crew landed in Gander, Newfoundland, during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The 10,000-population town took them in for days; many have stayed in touch. Above, the line of stranded planes snaked along the runways.

Gander, Newfoundland, Helped Stranded 9/11 Travelers


Canada’s connections with 9/11 are strong, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be on hand in New York City to attend the ceremony and opening of the memorial at Ground Zero, according to media reports.

Twenty-four Canadians died in the attacks, according to The Globe and Mail. Harper met with some of their families on September 10. It isn't clear whether any aboriginals were among them, but the tragedy touched everyone regardless.

The country is most remembered for the role that its 10,000-population hamlet of Gander, Newfoundland, played as it received dozens of rerouted, grounded planes carrying at least 6,500 passengers and crew. Travelers were stranded there for days, but the hospitality never wavered, with donations of food and clothing pouring in, The Globe and Mail and others reported.

The town will receive an award on September 11 for its role in helping the stranded travelers, many of whom were American, and a ceremony will be held in the town as well, attended by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, to honor Gander and the country’s efforts to comfort the stranded people, who hailed from 93 countries.

At the same time, there have been tensions and divisions. On the front lines of that have been First Nations, mostly Akwesasne who have seen changes in their ability to crisscross the U.S.-Canadian border since September 11, 2001, a border that did not exist before the U.S. and Canada created it in 1783, CBC News points out.

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