Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 11th, ten years later….we still remember

As we approach the 10th anniversary of what is commonly referred to as September 11th, or simply 9-11, we remember Sept. 11, 2001, as a day that altered history.

It was a day that brought America together, and it was a day when most of the world embraced our country. Many books have been written about the attack and its aftermath, and many of those help us to remember the individuals of that day. We recognize of all of them as heroes, and there are books that help us to better understand some of them.

America’s Heroes: Inspiring Stories of Courage, Sacrifice and Patriotism, is a collection of personal narratives and photographs of ordinary people who, on one horrific day, were transformed from ordinary to extraordinary. Out of that unspeakable tragedy, came heroic stories of incredible courage, sacrifice and patriotism.

Firehouse, by David Halberstam, is a tribute to the firefighters who lost their lives following the terrorists’ attack on the World Trade Center. The author explores the lives of members of FDNY Engine 40 Ladder 25, offering a portrait of everyday life in a firehouse and the courageous efforts to preserve life.

The story of Rick Rescorla is told in Heart of a Soldier: A Story of Love, Heroism, and September 11th by James B. Stewart. After safely evacuating the Morgan Stanley offices in the south tower, Rescorla went back into the building minutes before it collapsed, to search for stragglers. As a decorated Vietnam veteran, this was not Rescorla’s first selfless act of bravery. The author captures the enormity of the World Trade Center attack, by retracing one of the lives lost in the disaster.

With nearly 50 of its community lost in the World Trade Center attack, the New Jersey town of Middletown, suffered the highest death toll of anyplace in America, on September 11th. Middletown, America: One Town’s Passage from Grief to Recovery by Gail Sheehy is an inspiring portrait that describes how the inhabitants of this town dealt with their grief, anger and trauma following that tragic day.

New York Times reporter, Jere Longman has written a tribute to United Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, PA, on 9-11. Among the Heroes: The Story of United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back is a detailed account of the heroism and terror of the final moments of this flight.
The author spoke with almost all of the families of the passengers and crew. It is universally acknowledged that this brave group acted with heroic defiance as they thwarted the terrorists that were on their way to either the Capitol or the White House.

On that flight was Todd Beamer, and who can forget his famous, final words, “Let’s Roll”. Lisa Beamer, Todd’s widow, has written Let’s Roll!: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage. Her story conveys a message of character, courage and undeniable faith in the face of horrifying tragedy.

Not to be forgotten, are the many heroic dogs who were a part of the events, during and after September 11th. Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero is the inspiring story of a blind survivor who owes his life to his faithful dog.

When the first plane struck Tower One, Michael Hingson tells of how he was led from the 78th floor, down 1,463 stairs, by his guide dog Roselle. In this harrowing story of trust and courage, we see how blindness and a bond between dog and man saved lives and brought hope during one of America’s darkest days.

In the days and hours following the attack, there were many other dogs who served side by side, with the rescuers, in their valiant recovery efforts. Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America’s Search and Rescue Dogs by Nona Kilgore Bauer, is a salute in stories and photographs to the canines that served our nation in the recovery missions following the terrorist’s strikes. A testament to man’s best friend, this book pays tribute to 78 canine heroes and their handlers.

A beautiful, inspiring and comforting collection of songs and hymns are included on the CD, American Anthem. Recorded by, renowned opera singer, Denyce Graves and others, these selections are a memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001.

As we pause to remember this somber anniversary, we honor all of those who were lost on that tragic day. Through their stories we can continue to be inspired by their lives.

Deborah @ Marshall

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