Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Review: That Day In September

Most people remember exactly where they were and what they were doing on the morning of September 11, 2001. Artie Van Why shares his personal story of the events of that terrible day in "That Day In September". This is a compelling memoir about how Mr. Van Why came to live in New York City and was working near the World Trade Center in a building across the street from the Twin Towers. His experiences at Ground Zero were shocking and unforgettable. This is one man's story of how he survived a day that will never be forgotten.

Before 9/11
Artie Van Why moved to New York City in November of 1977 to pursue an acting career. He tells of his relationship with an actress before "coming out" and living an openly gay lifestyle. He soon realized that he would need more income than he was receiving from his acting jobs, so he went to work as a word processor at a law firm. He worked the evening shift and then would party with his friends until the early morning hours.

In 1999, Mr. Van Why decided to give up drinking and make some serious changes in his life. He attended a twelve-steps support group and was able to gain control of his drinking and his life. The law firm merged with another company and he found himself working the day shift in an office building across the street from the World Trade Center. Life was good.

Artie heard the building rumble. A secretary said that a plane had hit the South Tower and it was a "war zone" outside. Artie and some of his co-workers were curious so they went outside to see what was happening. Once he was on the street, he noticed that it was like stepping into a snowstorm. Paper of all sorts and sizes was scattered everywhere, coming down from the sky from as far up as he could see. Large pieces of debris were falling down the length of the tower. Then he noticed that one piece of debris seemed to be moving. It was a person falling...arms and legs waving madly. He stood helplessly watching as more and more people began jumping from the tower.

A Letter From The Author

I am a self-published author and am writing you in regard to my one and only book, "That Day In September". I lived in New York City for 26 years and I worked across from the World Trade Center. I was there in the streets the morning of 9/11. "That Day In September" chronicles my eyewitness account of the attack on the World Trade Center and the weeks and months following.
All along this endeavor has been, one, my way of processing and working through that experience. And secondly, and to me more importantly, it is my personal contribution to assuring we never forget that day. "That Day In September" is my personal tribute to honor those who died that day. Sales are minimal to say the least; as are any royalties I receive. For me, this is not about making money. It is about my story being told.
With the 10th anniversary approaching I am doing whatever I can to let people know about my book. That is why I'm writing to you. I know that with a little more than two months before the anniversary your commitments to other books might make it an impossibility to do anything at this time for "That Day In September". But I wanted to at least ask you if you might be able to read and review the book with these next two months.  Artie Van Why
My Thoughts
Has it really been ten years since the 9/11 attacks? It seems like just yesterday that I went to work in the library at Red Bluff Elementary. It was school picture day and the photographer was setting up in the library to take the student's pictures. The principal came in and told me that our country was being attacked and to get a television out and turn on the news. I spent that morning with one eye on my work responsibilities and the other glued to the TV screen.
"That Day In September" is a book that will give you details that were not covered on the television news. I think Mr. Van Why has done an outstanding job sharing his experience of that terrible day in September. He felt the panic and fear of running for his life as debris fell from the sky. These memories continued to haunt him for many years. This book is his way of working through this trauma.  His hope is that our country will not forget all those who lost their lives on that day. Read the book and weep.
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