The tragic events of September 11, 2001 forever altered the American landscape, both figuratively and literally. Immediately after the jets struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, Dennis Smith, a former firefighter, reported to Manhattan's Ladder Co. 16 to volunteer in the rescue efforts. In the weeks that followed, Smith was present on the front lines, attending the wounded, sifting through the wreckage, and mourning with New York's devastated fire and police departments.
A portion of the proceeds from sales of the book will be contributed by the author and publisher to the Foundation for American Firefighters.
September 11, 2001, 8:48 a.m.
For decades to come people will ask of each other, where were you . . . ?
I am sitting with Arnold Burns, the chairman of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, talking about the needs of youth. I have known this former deputy attorney general of the United States for twenty-five years, and because I am on the board of a Boys & Girls Club in the South Bronx, I am also a member of his board of advisers. We happened to run into each other the way New Yorkers often meet, in unlikely placesin our case, sitting in a laboratory anteroom, waiting to have our blood drawn for annual exams. Suddenly, a nurse enters and exclaims that a plane has crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
I look at my watch.
It is 8:48 a.m.
In Manhattan most people arrive at their offices ten or fifteen minutes early. Many have carried little white bags from local coffee shops, and are just now taking seats at their desks, ...
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