GANDER, NL, Aug. 10, 2016 /CNW/ - On September 10th and 11th, 2016, The Town of Gander in partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) and the Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce, will host two events to mark the 15th Anniversary of September 11th. The events will commemorate the profound impact this disaster has had on Canada while paying tribute to the extraordinary acts of kindness exhibited in Gander, Newfoundland following the attacks. September 11th is also Canada's official National Day of Service. On this day, Canadians are encouraged to show the same kind of compassion and kindness by engaging in charitable activities, fundraisers and community service. For those willing to donate, donations of $9.11 can be made to Wounded Warriors Canada.
Thirty-nine planes landed at Gander International Airport that fateful day carrying over 6,600 passengers unaware of the ongoing terrorist attacks. As passengers remained stranded on the tarmac, the Town of Gander and surrounding communities worked tirelessly to provide accommodation and nourishment. The population of Gander effectively doubled as all community halls, churches and school gymnasiums were transformed into temporary lodging. It was an extraordinary response highlighting Canada's resolve in the face of terror.
Claude Elliott, Mayor of Gander, commented, "I've witnessed many acts of kindness over the years but none as large or far-reaching as the hospitality that was shown to over 6,600 unexpected visitors who landed in Gander that tragic day, September 11, 2001. I've never been more proud to call Gander my home, and it is imperative that we continue to unite with our allies during times of tragedy. The Gander community prides itself on being a haven for those seeking shelter and safety, and as we reflect on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 may we remember the losses that were suffered but also the gains we made as a united people."
Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, "The 9/11 terrorist attacks altered the history of Canada. Over 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members served in Afghanistan, 158 made the ultimate sacrifice and thousands irreparably bare the physical and mental scars of the war. 9/11, however, also highlighted Canada's resolve in the face of terror. This was shown through the exemplary leadership of the Town of Gander, its residents and those of the surrounding communities. We are proud to be a presenting partner of the 15th Anniversary commemoration and hope to ensure Canadians remember the service, sacrifice and resolve that was borne out of a horrible tragedy."
Maureen Basnicki, Founder of the Canadian National Day of Service, commented, "The Canadian 9/11 Family members wish to thank all of our men and women of service and celebrate Canadians who serve their country and communities in official and unofficial ways. Gander set the standard in the Global Community. The town of Gander and surrounding communities opened their hearts, their pocketbooks, and their homes to the "plane people" stranded after the 9/11 attacks. Join us on Canada's National Day of Service to honour our heroes who make a difference. It is a fitting legacy for our loved ones lost on 9/11."
Debby Yannakidis, Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce Chair, commented, "Through the unfolding of the 9/11 tragedy and associated acts of terrorism many have lost their faith in humanity. On the contrary, I take away the kindness, compassion, and selflessness of the many who gave their lives in New York City and of those within our own communities who united to help the 6600 plane people upon our doorsteps. Although strangers when they arrived, many of these passengers have formed life-long and continuing friendships upon their return. This year the Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce will partner with Wounded Warriors Canada, The Town of Gander, and the Canadian National Day of Service Foundation to commemorate the profound impact these events have had upon our nation as a whole while paying tribute to those within our own communities for their tremendous kindness and compassion during the September 11th crisis."
SOURCE Wounded Warriors Canada
Image with caption: "Town of Gander, Newfoundland and Wounded Warriors Canada to Host 15th Anniversary of 9/11 Commemoration. (CNW Group/Wounded Warriors Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160810_C2608_PHOTO_EN_750879.jpg
For further information: Scott Maxwell, Executive Director, Wounded Warriors Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-888-706-4808 ext. 5