On September 11, 2001 while planes that had been hijacked by terrorists from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon were being flown into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, thousands of other flights were in the air. For obvious reasons the air space over the United States was soon closed and was being patrolled by the military. Therefore these flights had to be diverted prior to reaching their destination.
Many such flights were able to land in various Canadian airports, big and small. There are numerous stories of Canada’s role in accommodating several of those flights in what became known as Operation Yellow Ribbon.
I find it interesting that almost 16 years later new US President Donald Trump’s recent Executive Order to ban citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, Muslim majority countries, from entering the United States has created a similar reaction from Canada.
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
Not unlike the situation in 2001, while Trump was signing his Executive Order last Friday, there were people with legal visas who were already en route to the US and who, upon landing, were greeted with a detention cell.
Once again Canada has stepped in by inviting those who were seeking what they believed to be legal access to the US to come here should they be turned back upon arrival. I suspect there will be those Trump supporters who will say we are welcome to these people, while others will fear having them so close.
It is not Canadian policy to accept terrorists with open arms; but these people are not terrorists, they have been vetted and given visas for entry to the US. They have had the rug pulled out from under them after passing through the system. Not only did Trump move the finish line, he took it away completely. Leaving these folks stranded. Welcome to Canada!