Helaine and I are watching the rerun of “Operation Yellow Ribbon,” the Tom Brokaw NBC documentary about the 7,000 passengers stranded when their planes were forced down in Gander, Newfoundland on September 11, 2001. I wrote about this earlier when we stumbled upon its first broadcast during the Olympics. Back then we were well into watching before we realized what we were watching. Not so this time.
We cried again. It was just as poignant, just as sweet as the first time.
The people of Gander showed the kindness you hope mankind is always capable of. In one scene, as the passengers were being shuttled from the airport on a school bus (driven by a striking driver who came back because of the emergency) a local official stood in the front and said,
“If there’s anything you need, anything at all, just ask and you will be taken care of.”
As a passenger later added,
“There’s not one person we’ve come across that hasn’t offered to help us. It’s overwhelming.”
Since my blog was one of the few places this program was originally mentioned I’ve heard from some of those involved including Bev Bass a stranded 777 pilot, Diane and Nick the transatlantic couple who met in Gander and Shirley Brooks-Jones.
Shirley has set up a scholarship fund for students at the Lewisporte Collegiate School where many passengers stayed. As soon as I get the proper contact info I’ll post it here.