Friday, September 10, 2021

9/11 book

This month, my book club is discussing "The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11".

It is a fascinating book. Reading it, I was struck that the book only discussed positive stories from that day. One story is how a quadriplegic man was carried down 69 flights of stairs by 10 of his coworkers taking turns. 

Another man thought he would die and decided to cross his arms over his chest (the American Sign Language sign for "love") so that if his dead body were found, his wife would know he was thinking of her in that moment. He survived.

For years prior to 9/11, the Morgan Stanley head of security had forced the entire staff (2700 people) to practice evacuations every 3 months. Many executives were annoyed by these drills. But as a result, he evacuated thousands in an efficient manner. 

I like how the book chose to focus on  kindness and the people who helped each other. There was only one story of a person being selfish. It was about a bartender who refused to open the bar's door while bloodied traumatized survivors banged on it, pleading for help. The bartender kept polishing a glass and repeating that the bar doesn't open for another hour until 11:30am. 

All the other stories were of people who did open their doors and who helped each other. It was heartwarming to read.

1 comment:

Major Takleef said...

The Morgan Stanley head of security was Rick Rescorla. He was already a war hero from the battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam (your book club might want to read "We were Soldiers Once, and Young" by Rick's commander Harold Moore; was also made into a big budget movie starring Mel Gibson iirc). Sadly, despite saving so many lives, Rick couldn't save his own.