Author: Benjamin Luft, M.D.
Review: It is easy to forget the enormity of what happened on 9/11. I remember being at work and slowly congregating in the conference room with my coworkers watching the events unfold on the big screen. It seemed unreal at the time, especially when the second plane hit. For me 9/11 was something that happened on television; consequently it never felt quite real to me. It is easy to forget what really transpired that day. And if that happens to me, someone who was 32 at the time, it is a tragedy. Multiply me by thousands and we have another national tragedy developing.
At the end of the day I think books like this one should be required reading for all Americans, so we never forget what happened. To all those innocent people who died that day just going about their life, to the first responders who died trying to save people, and to the numerous first responders who continue to this day to suffer and die directly as a result of 9/11.
This book delves into this last group, probably the most forgotten group of all those affected by 9/11. It tells the stories of those whose jobs took them to ground zero on September 11th, and kept them their over the ensuing weeks, months and years. The enormity of their efforts and sacrifices has been ignored, and if we let it, will be lost.
Imagine the long term effects, both physically and mentally, of spending months searching a burning pile of metal and mortar for the pulverized bodies of almost 3000 individuals while breathing in 3 inches of dust the whole time. To a person, everyone of the 33 responders (or spouse) say they all would do it again, but through their stories they explain what a truly devastating nightmare 9/11 was. It is their own experiences and it makes 9/11 real, not just some television show you saw 10 years ago.
This is not an easy book to read, but I feel we all should. In the end it showed to me that even through the worst tragedy imaginable, America came together. We sacrificed for each other, some more than others, and we got the job done. If we forget and drift apart, lose our national identity, then the evil of 9/11 has succeeded. This is an important book.
Publisher: Greenpoint Press
Quick Review: 5 Stars out of 5.
Why I Read it: Because it is necessary to understand
Where I Obtained the Book: The Cadence Group sent it to me for review.Synopsis: "We're Not Leaving" is a compilation of powerful first-person narratives told from the vantage point of World Trade Center disaster workers-police officers, firefighters, construction workers, and other volunteers at the site. While the effects of 9/11 on these everyday heroes and heroines are indelible, and in some cases have been devastating, at the heart of their deeply personal stories-their harrowing escapes from the falling Towers, the egregious environment they worked in for months, the alarming health effects they continue to deal with-is their witness to their personal strength and renewal in the ten years since. These stories, shared by ordinary people who responded to disaster and devastation in extraordinary ways, remind us of America's strength and inspire us to recognize and ultimately believe in our shared values of courage, duty, patriotism, self-sacrifice, and devotion, which guide us in dark times.
Author Biography: Benjamin J. Luft, M.D., is the Edmund D. Pellegrino Professor of Medicine at SUNY Stony Brook and an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of Lyme disease and AIDS-related conditions. As a native New Yorker he was deeply impacted by the 9/11 attacks and was inspired to establish the Long Island World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, which provides care to more than 6,000 disaster responders and has become an incubator for several important research and treatment programs that emphasize both mental and physical well-being. Dr. Luft has also established several important projects commemorating 9/11, including the "Remembering 9/11 Responders" oral history program.
Another story about 9/11 worth seeing