Wednesday, September 12, 2018

More Love for 'Come From Away'


On September 11, 2001, in Gander New Foundland, it was a day like any other. That is until US airspace closed because of the terror attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. When that happened, 38 planes diverted to the largest airport in Canada. Thousands of people from all over the world, made Gander Newfoundland - a town of about 7000 - home for almost a week until the airspace reopened.

During that time, the people of Gander and the surrounding counties opened their hearts and their doors to those that were stranded. Ganderites provided a safe haven by feeding the passengers, and allowing the strangers to sleep and wash in their homes. In a remarkable outpouring of kindness, those in Gander shared comfort, love and hope to many who just wanted to be home with their own families. 

The story of September 12 and beyond in Gander is portrayed in the blockbuster musical Come From Away, which just so happens to be one of my most favorite shows ever. The fact that Come From Away has gained such a following warms my heart to no end. It's a simple though shockingly true story, that celebrates good people doing good things. 

Words cannot express just how I feel about this show. I've read books about it. I've bought the soundtrack and listened to it on a loop. I've told everyone I know to see it and have offered to be their guide. The show is a special sort of amazing. Seeing it in DC the first time, literally gave me chills, and at a certain point in the show (including on the album) I get those same chills each time. I laughed out loud. I cried. I sang along. I remembered. While I don't actually remember hearing this story at the time, I remembered the other too numerous to count acts of kindness I saw in the wake of the attacks. Though the attacks were meant to break the country apart, they succeeded in doing the complete opposite. It banded us together and brought bravery, kindness and humanity to the forefront of the conversation. 

That's the very thing that makes Come From Away so special. The actors - who are also a huge reason for me loving this show - get to sing about people being kind and loving in the midst of incredible strife every evening, which I gotta imagine is super amazing for their overall mental health. Come From Away spreads the love in the best way possible every day, and focusing on the love that there is in the world right now is never a bad thing.

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