Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Immediately after the devastating assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2002, for the first time in history all American airspace was closed to airline traffic. This 60-minute TV special recounts the experiences of American travelers whose planes were forcibly rerouted to Newfoundland, stranding 44,000 passengers in a variety of tiny, far-flung Canadian communities. At first angry over the inconvenience and delay, most of the Americans ended up gratified by the unstinting kindness and hospitality of their Canadian hosts. The special not only details this spontaneous largesse, but also chronicles the lasting friendships forged during the five traumatic days following the terrorist attack. Based on a book commissioned by the Canadian government, Stranded Yanks: A Diary Between Friends was broadcast in the U.S. via PBS, as part of that network's coverage of the first anniversary of 9/11.