With summer in full swing, summer trends are also at the forefront of our minds. I have done a ‘Things Series’ in the past, so I am thinking this post will be the first in a spinoff series: ‘Things I’m obsessed with.”
My latest obsession is the new broadway musical, “Come From Away.” Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the writers of the show, say it best that ‘Come from Away’ is not a story about the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. It’s a story about the kindness and humanity that came out of Sept. 12, 2001.
For those not familiar with the story, 38 international commercial airplanes were rerouted to Gander, Newfoundland, Canada after American airspace was closed following the attacks to the World Trade Center in NYC and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. For 5 days, the small Canadian town with a population of 11,000 residents, welcomed, fed, clothed, and entertained almost 7,000 travelers- or as labeled in Newfoundland- come from aways.
I first listened to the album on my way home to New Jersey on a Friday afternoon. Within the first key change of the first song, I was in tears. Sad tears. Happy tears. Grateful tears. The story in itself is enough to make you cry, but the harmonies and the lyrics are enough to make this musical score lover ugly cry.
It wasn’t until after I did a little research that I found out all the characters in the show are based on real people- residents or travelers- who were in Gander during the events of 9/11.
I could write a whole post about this show, and I will. My family is going to see the show in December– Merry Christmas to us!
As I listened to the show, the story reminded me of other time in world history. In June 2013, I went on a 11 day trip through Europe including England, France, Belgium, and Germany. When we were in Normandy, France, an elderly French couple came up to our group and asked us if we were Americans. After confirming our nationality, their eyes welled with tears and they thanked us all with hugs and handshakes.
Even 70 years later, people in France are grateful to Americans for our soldier’s efforts during World War II. Let’s face it, if it weren’t for the Allies invading Normandy, the people of France could easily be speaking German right now.
But, my point is that this show makes me feel about Canadians what I am sure the French couple felt towards me during my trip in 2013. I want to go to Gander and hug every person who helped the refugees who were sent to their town. This show reminds me that we must always love our friendly neighbor to the north because we have more similarities than differences. (Plus, they have Justin Trudeau.)