Heroes

Although few people are aware of it, the largest maritime evacuation in history took place on September 11, 2001, in Manhattan. It happened spontaneously, without the slightest preparation or planning, because a group of completely ordinary Americans put the well-being of thousands of total strangers ahead of their own safety, convenience, and comfort. Half a million people were rescued in the space of nine hours, and miraculously, not one person was injured in the process. If you have lost your faith in humanity, this short documentary might restore it.

Here’s another story of heroism in an unlikely place: Gander, a little village (pop. 10,000) in Newfoundland, where thirty-eight airliners containing almost seven thousand people were diverted after American airspace was closed on September 11. The citizens of Gander opened their homes and hearts to the stranded travelers for five days — another example of the worst disasters bringing out the heroic best in ordinary human beings.

(If you’d like to read more about this extraordinary story, I highly recommend the book The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland, by Jim DeFede.)

7 Responses to Heroes

  1. DeniseVB says:

    Thanks for this sweetie ❤

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  2. Thomas says:

    I will be forever grateful to those who conducted the maritime evacuation. My daughter, who was working in a building next to WTC at the time the airplanes hit, was able to walk out of her building and onto a waiting ferry. She made it safely across the Hudson to Hoboken, where she lived at the time.

    September 11, 2001: Never forget, never forgive, never relent.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 49erDweet says:

    I have known about the New Founders opening their homes, but not about the evac. Thx. Very cool.

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    • I learned about it only recently. It’s a story that should be more widely known, because God knows we need all the hope we can get. When ordinary people accomplish something that extraordinary — ignoring the risk and inconvenience to themselves — we should take notice, and encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A great tribute, 🙂

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