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Saturday, September 10, 2011

BEA Book Review: 9/11: the world speaks

Excerpt from the back cover:

Almost two million people from across the United States and around the world have come through the museum galleries of the Tribute WTC Visitor Center since it opened in September 2006 across the street from the World Trade Center site. Many of these visitors have written their poignant reflections about the impact of September 11 on visitor cards collected in the Center's final gallery. To date, the Center has collected 200,000 cards written in 48 languages by people from 120 countries.

Why I Wanted This Book 

Back in 2001 my husband was a firefighter/paramedic in the Baltimore City Fire Department.  After the attacks in New York and DC (this was before we knew about PA) my husband wanted to drive directly to NYC and help out. I had to use all my energy to convince him to come back in the house - there was nothing he could have done to help because he had dislocated his shoulder and was on heavy pain medication while he waited for surgery to be scheduled. As the days wore on we found out that he knew several of the firefighters who were killed in New York, and also two people who were on the planes.  Today my husband is not the same person that he was on 9/10/11; the events on 9/11/01 changed him forever.  They changed me as well, but not in the same way. I was 5 months pregnant with Kiddo, and I grieved for the world that he would grow up in.

My husband and I watch the 9/11 programming every year, and we have DVDs of many of the memorials, newscasts, and movies related to it.  I want to visit the place where the World Trade Center once stood (my husband was there on the 6 month annivesary of the attacks) and see the Tribute Center across the street. This book features notes from the Tribute Center, and I think they are important to share with the world.

My Thoughts

This is a book that with both make you proud and make your heart hurt. The majority of the messages included are from people outside New York reflecting on how 9/11 affected them. Most of those are inspiring to read and made me optimistic about the future of the world.  Some of them expressed such compassion and love that it literally made me cry.  Other messages are from people who lost loved ones in the attacks and those broke my heart.  One particular message was from a child who was born two months after his father died in one of the towers. All I could think about was how that child could have been Kiddo.  Quite a few of the messages included drawings that expressed more than words could ever say.

My husband started reading this book but he didn't get too far - some of it was just too painful for him. I think he'll continue reading though, and I think it will be good for him.  I read some of the messages to Kiddo to help him understand the enormity of the tragedy - it isn't as real for him, and I think personal notes like this will help with that.

A Book from BEA

I wish I could remember which publicist at which BEA booth handed this book to me. I remember talking to a woman about several books at the booth and getting very excited when she showed me this one, but I can't remember anything other than that.  If anyone knows which booth this book came from please let me know - I'd love to thank the person who gave it to me.


bermudaonion said...

The anniversary of 9/11 must be very painful for your family. It's sad that kids like Kiddo never knew a pre-9/11 world.

Alison's Book Marks said...

I have not read any 9/11 books (only saw the first documentary this year) I have several on my shelf, though, in hopes that one day I will be able to read them. Thank you for reviewing this. I've heard of the notes collected at the visitors center. I may have to add this one to my collection.

Heather J. said...

bermudaonion - It is a very sad day in our house. Luckily Kiddo has a hockey game that morning so that will get our minds off the tragedy for a while. :)

Alie - I haven't read any other books yet ... not sure I could, as even this one made me cry. For some reason the books are harder for me than the TV programming.

Ryan said...

I don't know anyone who was lost on that day, though I have two friends that were injured. I still have yet to read any books that deals with the subject, though I think this one might be one to start with.

It's a hard day and I'll be keeping your family in my thoughts.

Heather J. said...

Ryan - Thanks Ryan. We're trying to keep our mind on other things by watching the Raven vs. Steelers game (Ravens are KICKING BUTT - woohoo!) but I'm sure once the game is over we'll go back to watching 9/11 coverage.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I have read a couple books on this but this one you have here looks really like something I would like to read. I did not see it at BA but wish I had.

*hugs* to you and to your family on this day.

Heather J. said...

Thanks Sheila.

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