In-store Event: Oregon Loves New York by Sally Ruth Bourrie


Please join us for this in-store author event. Tickets can be purchased through the Eventbrite link here OR in the bookstore. Please call 541.306.6564 with any questions.
Oregon Loves New York: A Story of American Unity After 9/11 documents an important event in American history that is little known: the Flight for Freedom, an achievement unequaled by any other community in the United States.
What was the Flight for Freedom? The journey by 1,000 Oregonians who flew to New York City only three weeks after the 9/11 attacks with the goals of showing the terrorists that Americans would not live in fear, to support the ailing New York City economy, and to show their fellow Americans in New York that they cared. While other communities hoped to emulate Oregon in a similar effort, none ever did. The Flight for Freedom took place October 6–9, 2001. Because of the large numbers of participants and some people’s desire to stay longer, Freedom Fliers’ time in New York varied. The trip was organized September 20–26, 2001, and the first people left on October 4, 2001. The trip cost $379 for round-trip airfare from Oregon to New York and included two nights at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Freedom Fliers flew to New York on 62 flights and 12 airports, providing employment for people who would not have had work on those days. While in New York, Oregonians marched in the Columbus Day Parade, rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, held a memorial service at Union Square, appeared on Good Morning America and other TV and radio shows, spoke at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Blessing of the Animals, and held a banquet for 700 in hard-hit Chinatown. At the time, America’s only Chinese American Congressperson was from Oregon. Easy to spot in T-shirts and buttons with two Douglas firs and “Oregon <3 New York,” Freedom Fliers were routinely stopped, hugged, and thanked by raw, grieving, shell-shocked New Yorkers. The Oregonians embraced the New Yorkers at every level; they listened to their 9/11 stories and were present in more ways than they could have anticipated when they answered the call. Japanese American Loen Dozono birthed the idea, which her husband, Sho Dozono, owner of Azumano Travel and chairman of the Portland Chamber of Commerce, ran with. He organized a diverse group of statewide leaders to organize the event and to participate. All organizers were volunteers. Nobody made any money from the trip, including the airlines and hotel. Portland Mayor Vera Katz led the group in New York. Dignitaries from across the state participated, but overwhelmingly, the effort comprised “average” people, from bartenders and cab drivers to teachers and small-business owners.

The Flight for Freedom was not a tour. All that participants shared was that they wanted to help and they were courageous enough to get on planes and go to New York City when many people around the world were afraid to do both of those things. They did not know one another, it was not a club, and when the trip was over, very few stayed in touch. The Flight for Freedom is an example of what can be achieved when Americans come together. Nobody cared about anyone’s politics, race, religion—it was about people caring for one another, placing their humanity at the forefront.

Sally Ruth Bourrie has been a writer for more than thirty years. Sometimes it’s paid well enough to put a roof over her head and sometimes it’s been “only” vital mental and emotional sustenance. As a freelance writer, she pitched and sold more than 2,000 features, articles, white papers, advertorials, book, and web content on topics ranging from business and technology to the arts and gardening. Publications included newspapers such as The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, The Oregonian, The Denver Post, and The Dallas Morning News. Her work also appeared in the Plain Dealer Magazine, Chicago magazine, Northwest Woman, NASDAQ, Colorado Business, and Alaska Airlines; trade publications such as Cable World and Wireless Week and digital media such as and Barnes and Noble digital library. She wrote and researched approximately 1,200 artist biographies and objects descriptions for J. Paul Getty Museum website.


Event date: 
Tuesday, September 12, 2023 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
900 NW Mt. Washington Drive #11-
Bend, OR 97703
Oregon Loves New York: A Story of American Unity After 9/11 2023 edition By Sally Ruth Bourrie, Len Bergstein (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Sally Ruth Bourrie, Len Bergstein (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781737833710
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sally Ruth Bourrie - January 23rd, 2023