SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Oregon Loves New York: A Story of American Unity After 9/11 is now available on Amazon and at global retailers through IngramSpark! It’s the kind of story we need right now, America at its best.
Based on over 100 interviews, memoirs and hundreds of news articles as well as personal experience, and with nearly 200 color photos, Oregon Loves New York documents the Flight for Freedom, a moment when Americans came together.
Over Columbus Day weekend, three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, 1,000 courageous Oregonians led by Portland Mayor Vera Katz took 62 flights through 12 airports to New York City to show the terrorists they had not shut down American life and to boost the city’s struggling economy. What they found were fellow Americans who needed more than money, they needed their hearts.
"The symbolic commitment to be a part of the recovery of New York from these horrible attacks meant a great deal to all New Yorkers and sent a very positive message to the entire nation," said former New York Governor George Pataki. "The Flight for Freedom demonstrated that people from 3,000 miles across the continent felt comfortable and safe in the streets, and that message got out in the rest of the country."
The Oregonians marched in the Columbus Day Parade, rang the New York Stock Exchange opening bell, held a memorial service at Union Square, appeared on Good Morning America, spoke at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Blessing of the Animals, sponsored a Chinatown banquet for 700, and other activities.
Easy to spot in T-shirts and buttons with two Douglas firs and "Oregon Loves New York," Freedom Fliers were stopped, hugged, and thanked by raw, shell-shocked New Yorkers. Oregonians embraced them, listened to their 9/11 stories, and were called to be present in more ways than they could have anticipated.
No other community brought its citizens together in a similar effort.
The Flight for Freedom was a selfless, volunteer effort. Packages started at $379 for airfare and two nights at the Waldorf–Astoria hotel.
"Oregonians of a previous age, they walked 3,000 miles to go there, despite hardships and some fear that our forebears had. Oregonians of our time showed courage to board airplanes at a time of severe restriction and insecurity and showed with their wallets and their shoe leather that hearts were one with New Yorkers.
"This was a bright, shining moment for Oregon." – Former Oregon Senator Gordon H. Smith
"Something powerful happened in New York. We had a rare opportunity to experience the healing power of human-to-human contact and to honor our highest nature." – Jan Woodruff, Portland State University, Freedom Flier
SOURCE Sally Bourrie