Over the years, the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia, Canada has had its share of fires, floods and hurricanes.
However, in 2001, in response to the World Trade Center terrorist attack on September 11th, 40 planes were diverted to the Halifax Airport in Nova Scotia and remained there for four days, until stranded passengers could be transported to their U.S. destination or point of origin. 18 Reception Centers/Shelters were set up, 17 in Halifax and 1 in Aldershot. These were located in schools, community centers, stadiums, 4 military bases, plus one hotel ballroom and a church hall. Over 8,000 people were on those 40 planes. The Canadian Red Cross managed some of the reception centers and provided emergency social services. In other cases, schools and other community organizations provided assistance. Many community billets were also enlisted to help. All flights and most passengers departed at 12 noon on September 15.
In this MYD Global episode, we speak with Veronica Marsman, one of the ESS coordinators that helped with the sheltering. She also billetted 3 people with her husband and 2 children helping them feel comfortable and safe in the midst of all the unknown then after the planes crashing and US airways shut down. Veronica recalls the event, what happened, and how her community rallied support and resources during a very difficult time.
In addition to those who stepped up in Newfoundland, on which the "Come from Away" musical is based, this is a wonderful example of how many Canadians selflessly and proactively provided help to our US neighbours in a time of urgent need.
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