Dreessen recalls being a refugee on 9/11

The last program of the Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning fall 2021 series features an American who became a refugee in Canada after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

These cabins housed Marilyn Dreessen and other travelers who were diverted to Newfoundland on Sept. 11, 2001. Contributed / HCLL, Oct. 10, 2021

Marilyn Dreessen will present “An American Refugee in Canada: A Different View of 9/11” Tuesday, Oct. 26 at the Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning.

The program is scheduled from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Armory Arts and Events Center in Park Rapids.

While the world watched in disbelief at the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Dreessen was flying home from Paris. Her plane was diverted to Canada, where she and 200 other passengers and crew waited for a week before being allowed to reenter the U.S.

Dreessen’s story of the events in the days following 9/11 portrays the bonds that formed between the Americans and the Canadians who so willingly befriended the stranded, bewildered passengers.

This final program in the HCLL’s fall series, it is free of charge and handicap accessible. Programs will resume in late February 2022.


Marilyn Dreessen, right, and another American traveler roomed together in refugee housing in Newfoundland after flights into the U.S. were grounded on Sept. 11, 2001. Contributed / HCLL, Oct. 11, 2021

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