Thursday, January 12, 2012

#5 102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn

This is the one I referred to in my previous post. The one that was so intense I was reading books in the middle of it.
The whole title of this non-fiction selection is "102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers".
Yeah. It's THAT kind of intense and deep and emotional.
This book was nothing short of enlightening. I am one of those Americans that was comfortably distanced from the emotional trauma of the day and the events. It was still painful and confusing but I had enough distance both physically and personally that I never have REALLY known. The things I knew were about terrorism and confusion and survival and revival. Not immediate or blind or connected.
I remember getting a phone call from my friend Cari asking if I saw what was happening. I turned on the tv and sat, on the phone, with her and watched. It was about 8am...west coast time. So although it was fresh and horrible and discombobulating, it was in great part already DONE. Both Towers had already fallen by that point. We knew that it was terrorist attacks. We knew it was an act of war.
This book starts by following recollections of survivors on the way the day started. It was any other Tuesday morning. We know that Dianne DeFontes was the 1st to arrive on the 89th floor of the North Tower at 8:30am. This was normal.
The book then proceeds, in a very detailed manner, to describe the growing daily activity of the towers with a mix of the history of the development of the towers. Eventually describing those confusing moments when the plane flew into the side of the building. It is described to us the way MANY of the people in the actual building NEVER did know they were victims of an attack until more than an hour later when they finally made it down nearly 90 flights of stairs to see the horrors of debris that littered the streets outside. These are true accounts. Recollections of survivors, memories of the families, 911 phone calls, video and news reports are pieced together to give you a clear idea of what it was like to LIVE those moments. This book has enlightened me and broken my heart. The loss was tremendous. The victims are many. What I think I love the most, though, is that this book IS about surviving. There was loss...but there is also LIFE. Life that was hard won and worth keeping.
btw....Dianne DeFontes, the 1st to arrive on the 89th floor? She survived. She was one of more than 70 people that were rescued by 2 brave men. Two men who were just regular people employed in the North Tower. Simply selfless heroes who went UP the tower to open blocked exits. Frank De Martini and Pablo Ortiz are two BRIGHTLY shining stars in a horribly dark DARK memory. Those 2 men gave up their own lives for those 70 some coworkers.
I told you.
Thank you, Taryn, for suggesting this book and being patient while it took me MONTHS to get the courage to read it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sedate me. Excite me. Leave me to READ.