The following excerpt is from the article September 11th and the Hospitable People of Gander, Newfoundland by Ethan Trex. Read the article in its entirety on MentalFloss.com.
In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks, our Canadian neighbors sprang into action to help clear American airspace of any other potentially dangerous flights. The action was known as Operation Yellow Ribbon, and in those uncertain first hours after the attacks, it was hugely helpful. The mission also made a tiny town in Newfoundland world famous for its hospitality.
Canadian authorities began diverting flights heading into the U.S. to various locations around Canada to help neutralize any lingering threats, but the task was a tricky one. It wouldn’t have made much sense to pull flights away from American airspace only to route them to Canada’s major centers, so the ideal landing spots for these planes would be relatively remote while also having a large enough airport to accommodate all the traffic.
As luck would have it, Canada had just such an airport in Gander, Newfoundland.
Read the full text here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/99729