One of the most uplifting human interest stories I’ve seen during the Olympic Games coverage was the piece on the Gander International Airport that ran on February 27th, done by NBC’s Tom Brokaw.
The Gander airport (as well as my others in Newfoundland and mainland Canada) played critical roles during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. When the U.S.A. closed its airspace, transatlantic flights had to be rerouted. Some were turned back to their origination airport; but others were too far westbound to turn back.
I believe Brokaw said that the population of Gander was 10,000 people and the town had two law enforcement officers. The town did an astounding job of opening their resources, homes and hearts to over 6,000 travelers (I think Brokaw said 6,600?) unable to make it to their U.S.A. destinations. Imagine a volume of people that equals about 65% of your total city population, appearing unexpectedly on your doorstep one day. Could your city handle the job?
I’ve searched the NBC site to see if they plan to post or rerun the story. I haven’t found anything yet. When I do, I’ll let you know.
It is well worth watching high-quality, good people in action.