On September 11th in 2001, the United States was attacked by the terrorist group al-Qaeda in four coordinated air plane hijackings, and two of the jets crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City.
In a memorial service this morning Craft said Gander will go down in history for the part it played in sheltering travellers stranded by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Craft, attended the annual 9/11 service in Appleton, Newfoundland and Labrador at the town’s memorial. Appleton is about 25 kilometres west of Gander.
“For years, I’ve heard about this warm-and-wonderful place”
Kelly Craft said as ambassador she receives invitations every day to meet and share experiences with Canadians, more than she could ever accept.
“But today, on this day in particular, there is no place I would rather be,” she said.
“For years, I’ve heard about this warm-and-wonderful place on the easternmost point of North America that welcomed the world on one of its most shocking days.”
Craft said Gander “embodies the meaning of friendship and humanity,” said then alluded to the challenging relationship under U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars, that’s not who we are. Sure, it’s business, and it’s important, but Gander is the place that — in a snapshot — illustrates the Canada-U.S. relationship,” she said.
Garrett Watton, the mayor of Appleton, said 9/11 forged friendships and strengthened alliances.
The experience is the subject of the Tony-award winning musical Come From Away.
Written by husband and wife, Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the musical celebrates the reception given to nearly 7,000 stranded passengers and crew after 38 planes were diverted to the Canadian community on September 11, 2001.
There are productions currently running on Broadway in New York City and in Toronto at the Mirvish Theatre.Listen
Meanwhile, in Washington, where the trade talks to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA) are ongoing. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland spoke to the media and honoured the occasion saying, “At the end of the day we’re neighbours, and neighbours help each other.”
(With files from CBC and CP)