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Musical looks at story of flight from London to Cincinnati on 9/11

Posted at 1:44 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 20:28:42-04

It is the question that comes up every year and has since 2002.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

Three Tri-State residents have such a unique story that it became the subject of a musical that’s played in theaters around the world.

If you’re wondering, “How could the tragic events of almost 18 years ago have spawned a musical?” – you’re not alone.

September 11, 2001, is the subtext.

The story, “Come From Away,” is about thousands of passengers who were in the air when terrorists attacked that day. Planes weren’t landing in the United States, but they had to go somewhere.

Enter Gander, Newfoundland – an island off Canada’s coast. Delta Flight 37 from London to Cincinnati joined other jumbo jets at Gander’s airport, and Gander's locals opened their hearts to the folks they affectionately called “the plane people.”

They cooked for them and donated bedding and blankets so the thousands of guests who came from far away had some comfort as they slept on places like church floors. They cared for them at the toughest of times.

“I don’t consider myself a really emotional person,” said Glen Prasser, who was coming home to Cincinnati on 9/11. “But I find myself emotional talking about this experience and how it changed me. Just how wonderful people can be when the chips are down.”

That is the essence of the musical, which will be playing at the Aronoff Center from September 17 through September 29.

Sheryl and Dave Heeter were also on that flight. They hope anyone who goes to see it, learns the valuable lesson they did: helping other people is important.

“I hope they see how great the people were in Newfoundland,” said Dave.

Sheryl then said, “That they helped strangers who came from away.”