Photo credit: 9/11 Memorial staff
Accession Number: C.2011.130.18
Dimensions: 6 in X 6 in X 3/16 in
Dimensions (Metric): 15.24 cm X 15.24 cm X 7.62 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Jacqueline Pinto
Souvenir tile with a graphic of an airplane on the front and with script text: "Gander | Newfoundland."
Flying home to New York from Italy on September 11, 2001, airline passenger Jacqueline Pinto heard the pilot announce a delay, but she did not comprehend the seriousness of the situation until her plane landed at Gander International Airport in Newfoundland, Canada, a thousand miles away from its destination. Hers was one of more than 250 flights forced to divert to Canada because of the closing of American airspace. News of the terrorist attacks had reached the cabin via phone calls and announcements from the cockpit. Passengers and crew on Pinto’s flight spent more than 24 hours confined to the plane awaiting security clearance to disembark.
Neither Gander, with a population of nearly 10,000, nor towns in the surrounding area had sufficient hotel space for approximately 7,000 stranded passengers. Local residents responded. The passengers on Pinto’s flight were sheltered in a church in the nearby town of Lewisporte. Her flight was cleared to return to the United States on September 15. Before departing, Pinto purchased a tile at the airport to commemorate her experience in Newfoundland and the hospitality she received.