I've read a few books about 9/11 that really touched me, and brought the events of that day home to me in a more personal way.
Touching History: the untold story of the drama that unfolded in the skies over America on 9/11 by Lynn Spencer
This book explores the events of 9/11 as they unfolded to the folks who were right there - the air traffic controllers, the FAA decision makers, and the military and reservists who responded while the rest of us had not yet heard, or had just turned on the TV or accessed CNN online. Quite enlightening, Spencer gives a real sense of how difficult it was to figure out what was going on and how to deal with it. It was difficult for the air traffic controllers to recognize that a hijacking had happened (so 80s, you know), and then the wrench of realizing that these hijacked planes were not being flown to Cuba, but turned into weapons of mass destruction. By the end, I was in awe of the men and women who worked through the crisis.
The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede
So when the USA closes its airspace, what happens to all the international flights already en route to the US? On 9/11/01, 38 jetliners headed for the US were forced to land in Gander, bringing over 6500 passengers and crew members to a small town of about 10000 to stay for several days, until American airports reopened. This charming book tells of how the folks of that small town opened their hearts, their homes, and their arms to welcome these strangers. Food was cooked, beds were found, pharmacists called doctors all over the world and filled prescriptions, and volunteers took care of the animals that had been traveling in the cargo holds of the planes. This is a heartwarming book that demonstrates that whatever weaknesses were exposed during that attack, the human strengths of our society were exposed as well.
Dear Zoe by Philip Beard
The events of 9/11 are beginning to show up in fiction as well. There are many fine novels that begin to explore those events directly. This book, however, is about 15 year old Tess DeNunzio, who is trying to survive her family's personal 9/11 tragedy. On 9/11, while Tess and her mother watched the news coverage, her 3 year old sister Zoe wandered from the yard to the street, where she was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Tess and her family struggled to keep their grief from getting lost in the larger tragedy and its aftermath, finally lapsing into silence. This book shows Tess' struggle to break the silence, and to bring her heart and family back to life.
These are three of the books dealing with 9/11 that resonated with me. Do you have a favorite to share?