Sunday, January 5, 2020

Kindness evokes memories of Gander on 9/11

High winds diverted a WestJet airliner on Dec. 25. It was heading for St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, but only made it to Deer Lake, about 400 short of its destination. Local resident Brian Snow realized that since it was Christmas day, all the restaurants in town were closed. On top of that, the Holiday Inn where almost 80 people were dropped off (with no way back to the airport) had no restaurant. Mr. Snow is community services coordinator for the Salvation Army, and he used social media to call for action. "Lets show the true Christmas spirit."

Within an hour, the community had organized a pot luck in the hotel lobby. Residents left their Christmas suppers at home to bring sandwiches, platters of their own turkey leftovers, freshly baked bread and lots of cookies and desserts. One stranded passenger, Dave Power, said, "When we finished eating, they said as soon as you're ready, let us know and we'll take you back to the airport." The loving care displayed by Deer Lake residents left some of the passengers "bawling."

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