After the United States shut down its airspace after the September 11th attack, a unique problem emerged: international flights.
Sure, some planes took off shortly before it was announced the entire U.S. air grid was on lock down, and they could turn back. But what about those beyond the point of no return, or those just about to land? What if the terror threat was broader than what we knew?
Insert our neighbor to the north, Canada, which instituted Operation Yellow Ribbon, a plan to land those international flights safely in North America. Of course, the biggest airports in Canada, outside of military bases, are in major urban centers. Given what we didn't know, it wouldn't have made much sense to send potentially hijacked planes to Toronto, so Canada chose airports that weren't in large urban centers, often facilities that were joint airports and Canadian Air Force installations.
During the 2010 Olypmics in Canada, Tom Brokaw produced a pair of videos on Operation Yellow Ribbon:
In our darkest hours, Canada has been with us. On September 11th, as the United States shut down its airspace, Canada instituted Operation Yellow Ribbon, landing 239 U.S.-bound flights with 33,000 passengers at 17 different Canadian airports.
And then, amid the uncertainty that followed, entire communities housed and fed those thousands of passengers for days afteward.
One such facility was in Gander, Newfoundland, which took 38 international jetliners.
Government of Canada
This is the focus of Brokaw's longer Olympics special on Operation Yellow Ribbon:
BROKAW: While the desperate rescue operation continues in New York, Gander begins the process of absorbing all those passengers. So many, that in a matter of hours, they will nearly double the local population.
PASSENGER GEORGE VITALE: Now Gander is a town of barely 10,000 people. There was over 6,000 of us. Now if you extrapolate the numbers to New York City's 8 million people, what's that? 6 million people showing up on your door saying "we're here" do something.
You can, and should, watch the whole video below. Thanks, Canada.
President Obama claims, as Bill Kristol noted in his editorial in the latest issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, that no country in the world has expressed opposition to his deal with Iran, with the exception of Israel. But that's not accurate. Canada, the United States' biggest trading partner—and, traditionally, its closest ally—has made it clear it wants no part of an agreement normalizing relations between Iran and the West.
This month, the Canadian Supreme Court trampled democratic deliberation by unanimously conjuring a constitutional right to “termination of life” for anyone who has an “irremediable medical condition” and wants to die. Note the scope of the judicial fiat is not limited to the terminally ill: The ruling grants competent adults a right to die if they have an “illness, disease, or disability that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual,” including “psychological” pain.
For a symbolic issue, the Keystone pipeline has sure caused a lot of damage—to Canadian-American relations, to Democrats, to President Obama. And it feeds, underscores, or reflects a variety of political divisions, some of them quite bitter.
A strong statement of support for Israel by the prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper:
“The indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel are terrorist acts, for which there is no justification. It is evident that Hamas is deliberately using human shields to further terror in the region.
This ought to be an easy one for the White House which has been petitioned to take action in a matter of national importance that ought to be a political slam dunk. The people on one side are all too young to vote and those on the other are full of passionate intensity (to borrow a phrase) in support of …
It's not often officials from the nation’s largest business lobby and an AFL-CIO-affiliated union speak to one another, let alone work together. But last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and North America’s Building Trades Unions held a joint press conference on Capitol Hill in support of the Keystone XL pipeline that would bring oil from Northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. Nearby that same day, exactly five years after Trans-Canada Corp.
When the four-month-long National Hockey League (NHL) lockout was resolved this past winter, a collective sigh of relief could be heard—especially in Canada, where ice hockey is viewed as a national pastime that defines a way of life. Hockey stories, legends, and heroes are passed down in an effort to preserve the history and frozen mystique of “our game.”