What is Operation Yellow Ribbon?
I have a confession to make.
Even though I witnessed 9/11 on television when it occurred, I never knew about the wonderful Canadians who stepped up on 9/12.
Here’s the story:
“Operation Yellow Ribbon was commenced by Canada to handle the diversion of civilian airline flights in response to the September 11 attacks in 2001 on the United States. Canada’s goal was to ensure that potentially destructive air traffic be removed from United States airspace as quickly as possible, and away from potential U.S. targets, and instead place these aircraft on the ground in Canada, at military and civilian airports in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia where any destructive potential could be better contained and neutralized. None of the aircraft proved to be a threat, and Canada and Canadians hosted thousands of passengers stranded in Canada until U.S. airspace was reopened.”
There’s a wonderful Tony award winning musical, Come From Away which explains Operation Yellow Ribbon.
What is Operation Yellow Ribbon?
Now, I must admit, I’m a little partial to this particular musical. See the fellow in the blue Police cap? He is Geno Carr and was my daughter’s acting teacher when he taught at Stephens College. He’s a great talent and person.
Come From Way, the Broadway Musical
Come From Away is a musical about the people of Gander, Nova Scotia who took in the many stranded air plane travelers who were headed to the United States on 9/11. Since the air space above the United States was shut down immediately after the attack, all the airplanes on route to the United States had to be sent somewhere else. Gander, Nova Scotia is about as close as you can get to the United States without actually being in the country.
The composers/playwrights, David Hein and Irene Sankuff, are Canadians themselves hailing from Nova Scotia . Ironically, they were living in New York city the day of the attack and knew nothing about the story of Operation Yellow Ribbon until ten years later when they were approached to write the show.
Like many Broadway musicals, its journey to the Great White Way was several years in the making–Canada, California and back again to California.
Come From Away is wildly popular. It’s one of the most popular shows for families and student tour groups to see.
There are many reasons why, but one first on my mind is that it does an excellent job of supporting cultural awareness. It reminds us that we are all in this together. The message is one of compassion for every human being. I think that’s why the show resonates with the audience.
What is Operation Yellow Ribbon?
Take care of your neighbors as they would you.
I think it’s too easy to forget we are all in this together. Maybe it’s because of the day to day challenges everyone encounters or our natural preoccupation with our own lives.
Personally, I love it when people ban together for a cause. I think it’s one of the primary reasons I love theatre as much as I do–people ban together to make something good happen.
I especially appreciate it when the United States steps in to help during a crisis. Putting politics aside, when the going gets rough, the United States is there to help.
I was researching this post and wandered on to this site, www.reference.com. It states,
“The United States has helped other countries by providing financial assistance, providing military assistance, training professionals and giving humanitarian aid. Being a world super power, most countries look up to the United States for guidance, protection and aid.
One of the ways in which the United States has helped other countries is by offering humanitarian assistance in times of disasters, such as hurricanes, terrorist attacks, earthquakes and other calamities. The United States also assists countries in training professionals, such as military personnel and government administration officers. Extending grants and loans to developing countries in order to improve infrastructure and other developmental agendas is another way the United States has helped other countries.”
Multicultural Awareness Books
If we expect our students to be understanding and compassionate to others, we need to begin teaching them when they are young. Here’s a list of books teachers and parents can read to children about this, from readbrightly.com:
- It’s Mine! by Leo Lionni.
- The Giving Tree. by Shel Silverstein.
- The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need. by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain.
- Strega Nona’s Harvest. by Tomie dePaola.
- The Spiffiest Giant in Town.
- What Is Given from the Heart.
- The Gift of Nothing.
- Harold Loves His Wooly Hat.
Come From Away, the Broadway Musical
If you are looking for a different approach to studying 9/11, consider my lesson on Come From Away.
- Letter to Teacher
- Warm Up–MY Version of a Popular Physical Warm Up
- Teacher’s Script–What I Say and How I Say it!
- Photos of Gander, Nova Scotia where the story takes place and the airstrip which became the connector between strangers
- Plot of the Musical
- Synopsis of the Musical
- A Brief Description of the Operation Yellow Ribbon and 9/12, what occurred the day after the 9/11 attacks
- Separate File of Photos for Teacher’s Use in Lecture
- History about the Origination of the Production
- Information on the Director, Christopher Ashley
- Information on the Writing Team co-composers & playwrights David Hein and Irene Sankuff
- A Shortened Lesson on : What are the Tony Awards?
- List of Tony Awards
- New York City Map with Competing Theaters Labeled
- Student Note Page
- Teacher Note Page Key
- Trivia about Come From Away and Broadway Musicals with Some Surprising Facts!
- Lyrics from “Welcome to the Rock”–Good for Class Discussions or as a Jumping Off Point
- Extension Activities–Terrific Suggestions of Ways to Secure the Learning and Enrich the Experience, Individual and Group
- Sources & Links to Film Clips from the Show
- And More!
I have several more Broadway musical lessons which you can check out here:
Do you remember September 11th? I was on my prep. period and turned on the television to see the news for the day. Instead, I saw the first tower being hit. It was unbelievable. I remember running to the main office and telling them to turn on a television. By then, the second tower was toppled.
Then my students arrived in my classroom. I had to stay silent about the catastrophe for four hours. It was agonizing. I’ll never forget it.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DeborahBaldwin.net