On Sep. 11, 2001, almost 3,000 people died during the terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on the four planes used in the attacks. U.S. airspace was closed for five days and traffic was prevented from landing on or leaving U.S. soil. Many incoming planes had to be diverted in mid-flight.
Newfoundland absorbed many of those flights full of frightened people. Canada’s easternmost province is not densely populated but the people of Gander and other Newfoundland towns rolled up their sleeves, pulled out the extra pillows, and made sure people had food, shelter, and company while they were waiting to go home.
Milwaukee’s Connie Batayias was one of those people. The Broadway musical based on these events, Come From Away, is at the Marcus Center this week, so we asked Connie to tell us about her experience in Canada in 2001: