Mural Thanks Gander for Hosting Stranded Travelers on 9/11

A mural created for Gander, Newfoundland, thanks the town for hosting stranded travelers on 9/11. The colorful mural includes drawings of planes, hearts, flowers, peace signs, and messages of thanks.
Mural created for Gander, Newfoundland in the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Photo by Jin Lee.

As the terrorist attacks unfolded on the morning of September 11, U.S. airspace closed and Canadian air traffic scrambled to land as many commercial flights as possible as soon as possible. The small Canadian town of Gander, Newfoundland, received 38 planes. The town of about 10,000 people opened their homes and community centers to shelter the displaced travelers.

This summer, intergenerational visitors to the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s education center completed a mural to be gifted to an elementary school in Gander as a gesture of thanks to the community for warmly hosting over 6,700 stranded passengers in the days following 9/11.

“Kids responded to the story of helping out. It made them think about what they could do and they expressed messages of love, unity and peace,” said 9/11 Memorial Museum Education Specialist Julianne Orouken. The young mural contributors also drew flags from their home countries in honor of world community.  

Fifteen years later, Gander remembers this moment in their history and the lasting bonds that formed in the time of national tragedy. Docents and other museum staff who participated in the mural project will travel to Gander to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and to thank the members of the community for their kindness.

By Jenny Pachucki, 9/11 Memorial Content Strategist 

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