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On the morning of September 11, 2001, shock waves rippled through the country as the United States came under terrorist attack. In New York, Washington, D.C., and Somerset County, Pennsylvania, four planes piloted by members of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization left death, shattered innocence, and incomprehensible destruction in their wake. While the attacks united all Americans in their shared horror and grief, the actual witnesses to these events often bear the heaviest weight of these painful memories. Never Forget is a collection of unbelievably moving stories of loss, heartache, and survival, as told in the words of those closest to the unfolding tragedy.
In stark, haunting detail, these vivid personal accounts bring to life the events as they happened: from the harrowing moments after the planes hit the twin Towers of the World Trade Center to the overwhelming cloud of debris that enveloped lower Manhattan when the towers fell, the devastating conversations with loved ones on the hijacked flights, the terrifying hours spent trapped in the fallen buildings, and the painstaking recovery efforts at each site. Moses Lipson, an eighty-nine-year-old construction inspector, walks down from the eighty-eighth floor of Tower 1. Steven Bienkowski, a police officer in the New York Harbor Unit Scuba Team, watches helplessly from a helicopter as people trapped in the upper floors of Tower 1 reach from the windows to beg for a miracle rescue. Tim McGinn, a now-retired NYPD lieutenant, shoots out a window and saves at least thirty people from suffocation. Young Lyzbeth Glick's heart drops when she realizes that her husband, Jeremy, who changed his travel plans at the last moment, is now on the hijacked flight from Newark. As the Pentagon blazes, Lieutenant Colonel Ted Anderson plunges back inside to rescue civilians trapped by fallen debris.
Weeks later, the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero continue. Construction worker Joseph Bradley looks on as a firefighter gently closes the eyes and straightens the suit of a woman whose body is found in the rubble. Benjamin Garelick, seven years old, raises seven hundred dollars with a lemonade stand to "help the firemen buy a new truck."
As these unforgettable stories reveal, many Americans transcended their own confusion and despair to help one another escape, to offer one another kindness, and to affirm life in the face of catastrophe. This concert of voices shows, as never before, the heartbreaking grief and slow but uplifting healing process that the people of this nation have experienced individually and as one.