“One plane then another, and then another, and then another, and then 13 planes, and another, and then another, and then another, and then 19 planes, and another and then another, and then another, and then 26 planes, and another and then another and then another, and then 29 planes, and another, and then another, and then another, and then 32 planes and another, and then another and then another and then 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38
– “38 Planes,” Come From Away
On Sept. 11, 2001, the world stopped when terrorists hijacked four planes, flying them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and crashing in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, when passengers revolted.
Air traffic halted, and planes everywhere landed and stayed grounded for days as the threat was assessed. That day, 38 international flights descended in Gander, Newfoundland, and the 7,000 passengers aboard those flights immediately doubled the population of the small town.
One of those flights, American Airlines Flight 49, was traveling from Paris to Dallas-Fort Worth, and now an effort is being made to find those likely North Texas-based passengers to invite them to take in the touring production of the Broadway hit Come From Away, based on the story of the town and the 7,000 stranded passengers.
Among the stories told in the musical is the story of Dallas-Fort Worth-based Beverley Bass, the first female captain for American Airlines, who was flying Flight 49 that day. In the musical, her character reflects on how she became a pilot — and how her view of the world has changed as she and the others stranded in Gander take in the news reports and learn more about what happened in the song “Me and the Sky.”
“Suddenly I’m in a hotel/Suddenly something has died/Suddenly there’s something in between me and the sky,” Beverley sings.
Performing Arts Fort Worth, the nonprofit owner and operator of Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall, as well as American Airlines and the Consulate of General Canada, announced this week that they are seeking those passengers of Flight 49 to attend opening night festivities on Oct. 19, hoping they will be on hand to tell their stories, attend the show, and a VIP reception.
Passengers of Flight 49 are invited to contact the Canadian Consulate General by calling 1-214-922-9806, emailing [email protected], or via private message on Facebook.com/CanCGDallas or Twitter at @CanCGDallas.
They’re also encouraged to reach out to People Newspapers at [email protected], too.