We all remember the September 11th that we experienced. We remember where we were when the planes hit. We remember who told us. We remember that feeling, like being punched in the stomach and you can't breathe. Some remember trying to get out of New York City. Some remember clutching their phones waiting for text messages from friends and family. We remember the feelings of gratitude for those who were safe, the feelings of despair for those who weren't. We will never forget that day. To those of you reading this who lost someone that day, my thoughts are with you. To those of you reading this who are or have family or friends who are firefighters and police officers, thank you for running in to help no matter how scary the situation is.
I remember the September 11th that I experienced. I didn't want to read any books about that day. I wasn't sure I could handle reading the story of someone who was far closer to it than I was, until I stumbled upon one book. It's remains the one book I read about that day.
Michael Hingson's book "Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust" takes the reader into the World Trade Center on September 11th. Hingson and his guide dog were on the 78th floor at a meeting on that morning. When the planes hit Hingson's guide dog, Roselle, did exactly what she was trained to do ... she lead Hingson to safety ... down 78 flights of stairs.
This first person narrative takes the reader through the trip down all those stairs and out to safety. The story includes flashbacks of Hingson's life and shares with the reader his experience growing up blind and his bond with his guide dog.
You will cry reading this book (I have to be honest with you). Hingson talks about the firefighters who were going up the stairs while he and Roselle were making their way down. Several firefighters asked Hingson if he needed a guide down the stairs. He was fine; he had his dog. While he was scared, Hingson put his trust in his guide dog. Roselle knew she had to try to get Hingson to safety and she did.
This book reminds the reader that heros come in all different forms. The obvious heroes are, of course, the firefighters who were running in as everyone else ran out to safety. They are true heroes. There were other heroes too ... the people inside helping each other get out. While they might not think of themselves as heroes, they are. Of course, there is one more hero ... Roselle the guide dog.