September 11, 2001

Thirteen years ago, thousands of innocent Americans lost their lives in one of the most heinous acts of terrorism ever committed. This, along with Hurricane Katrina, is one of those days that I hope to never ever witness again in my lifetime (or anyone else’s). Sadly, as long as evil exists in this world, we will live with the fear that something like this can happen again.

As with most major events, dozens of books have been written about that fateful day. I have only read two very different yet poignant accounts:

Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson

FYI - pictured is Affrica, not Roselle. She passed away prior to publication.

This is a compelling account of Michael Hingson, his guide dog Roselle (Rosie), and their harrowing escape from the World Trade Center. You can only imagine how difficult it was for those trying to evacuate the WTC after the planes crashed into the towers. Imagine how much harder it must have been for a blind person to do so. However, Michael and Rosie traversed down 78 flights of stairs and made it to safety. This is a testament to the training, loyalty and trust that is developed between guide dogs and their human companions. The book also details Hingson’s overall experiences as a visually-impaired person in the seeing world.

The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

9/11 Commission ReportPresident Bush and Congress convened this  independent, bipartisan commission to investigate incidents, circumstances, etc. pertaining to the terrorist attacks on September 11th. This report details documents, timelines, security camera footage, etc. as well as provides texts of the cockpit recorder from United Airlines 93. It also provides background on the hijackers including their country of origin, how they entered the United States, and staged this operation. Regardless of your political affiliation or your beliefs about the hows and the whys of the attack on September 11, 2001, this report is worth reading.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost a loved one that day as well as to the countless number of brave first responders whose only mission was to save as many lives as possible. This day in 2001 may have deeply hurt us, but it did not crush our spirit. God Bless America!

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