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Hope and kindness of the people of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador remember the 9/11 ceremony


GANDER / TORONTO – Twenty years ago, Gander’s good was manifested when the world seemed to be at its worst.

After the September 11 attacks, 38 planes carrying nearly 7,000 passengers were forced to land in the central Newfoundland city of 11,000. Locals took it upon themselves to clothe, feed and house people from over 90 countries for nearly a week.

For Jeanette Gutierrez, a 9/11 survivor, Gander also feels like a second home.

Gutierrez, who was in Manhattan at the time of the attacks, first came to Gander five years ago to try and figure out what happened that day. From her office across the plaza from the World Trade Center, she saw the two planes collide with the Twin Towers. She says she finds it hard not to be in New York on her 20th anniversary.

“I can’t walk away from 9/11, it’s in me no matter where I am,” she told CTV National News. “But I have to keep the hope and spread the kindness, and it’s so easy to find here.”

Gander marks September 11 every year, and Saturday is no exception. A ceremony was held to recognize the sadness of the day, but also the hope and kindness that so many have experienced.

“Atlantic Canada showed the best of humanity on a day when we all needed to be reminded of basic goodness,” Katherine Brucker, Deputy Chef de Mission at the US Embassy, ​​said at the ceremony.

More and more American dignitaries and friends praised Gander’s outpouring of support 20 years ago, as locals recalled the wave of people and the pride they felt.

Gutierrez also took the stage and tried to convey the impact Gander had on her.

“I don’t know why God brought me here, but I’m so glad he did. I’m a better person to have met you all, ”Gutierrez told the crowd. “Thank you for shining such a bright light on my darkest day.”

Bill Hooper, former mayor of nearby Lewisporte, told CTV National News that September 11 in Gander is dedicated to its residents who two decades ago put everything aside to help others and stood to their turn helped.

“I think we became better people because of something so sad,” Hooper said.

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