Friday, July 29, 2011

Courage and Partnership on 9/11

I'd been looking forward for my free copy of Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson to arrive. I received it in exchange for my honest review as part of It lived up to my expectations. While the storyline and ending of the book were fairly predictable (being based on such a newsworthy day on our history), I valued the opportunity to relive some of the memories and triumphs as Hingson, who happens to be blind, told of his escape from one of the WTC towers on September 11. He was accompanied by his guide dog, Roselle. In tandem, with humor, perseverence, great wisdom, and faith, they trekked to safety.

The book does a lot to educate the reader on the experience of being blind in our society. I also learned a lot about the training and responsibilities of a guide dog as well as the special bond that is formed with the owner. The author has a warm and positive personality, and I found him to be very endearing as I read. His determination to accomplish great things (a MS in Physics, successful business career, public speaker) without considering his blindness a handicap is inspiring.

Tragedies inspire curiosity. This book helps satisfy my curiosity of what it was really like to be on the 78th floor of the North Tower when the plane hit and what occurred in the following minutes and hours.

As I sat on the patio and finished the book, I heard military jets racing by. In part of Hingson's story, he tells of stopping at a Vietnamese restaurant for some respite during his long journey home. While there, military jets were heard flying overhead. Someone announced that it was the Air Force on patrol. He writes, "The entire restaurant bursts into applause. For the first time in hours, I feel safe." This made a personal connection to me because a month before my dad died, he was with me in my yard, and we watched some jets nearby. He told me, "I love that sound. It makes me feel safe."

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