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That Day in September by Artie Van Why
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's review
Jul 07, 2011

it was amazing

Title: That Day In September
Author: Artie Van Why
ISBN: 978-1411683150
Publisher: Lulu

Everyone pictures the falling to of the Twin Towers, the images and the destruction in their own mind. It’s like a painting filled with uneven shapes, dark colors, figures falling, flames soaring and smoke enveloping the sky, the sky and the world. Take a trip back in time to that day in September when America felt the shock, aftershock and horrors that changes the lives of every New Yorker, American and visitor that saw what no one wanted to believe, the crumbling of the Twin Towers.

There have been many books, articles and movies that have recounted these events but none so compelling, accurately described and heart wrenching as that “ That Day In September,’’ by Artie Van Why,” as he brings the reader up close and center stage as the lead actor in a play that he never wanted to star in. He envelops the reader in his real life experience that memorable day.

Sharing his life before 9/11 and allowing the reader to know about his college life, his life choices and the difficulties he faced makes his story come alive. Living in New York, getting the lead role in “Norman, Is That You,” about a gay man who decides to come out. Torn between his own sexual preferences, deciding on career goals the author turned to alcohol for solace. But, epiphanies happen. Realizing his limitations, his goals need to be reassessed he entered the 12 step program and put his life back on track.

In 2001 he worked for a law firm that was going to merge with a large firm. Life decisions and choices do not always give the legroom or time frame you want to make them. Deciding whether to remain in his job, and dealing with the events of that day would haunt him forever. Returning to work in November took time and seeing the empty space where the Trade Center was brought back the entire event in Technicolor with all the images and graphics of a movie. This is where our story takes shape.

Flashing forward Artie walks through the revolving doors of his office building into a world covered in paper, soot, falling bodies, smoke so thick you could taste it, ash so black you could use it as charcoal in a painting, and dust so filled with debris it made breathing difficult. Flames soared, blackness prevailed as the sky was covered with a black mourning veil of darkness that would take months to lift.

New Yorkers are special and as he describes his “coffee man” you begin to smile as only in New York would a street vendor remember how you take you coffee and have it ready for you each morning. Describing his day, the trade center, the buildings, concerts help make the city come alive for the author, reader and visitor. Mew York has its own personality. But then, the horror unfolds, the harsh reality sets in and the truth understood that nothing lasts forever or is permanent. The towers fall, the screams are deafening and the photos startling.

As the author is standing along the length of Building 5 his thoughts went to helping others, running back inside and trying to make a difference, but could not. Helpless! People falling to the ground, others running blindly in the street, some standing in one place as if in a trance or daze, like a horror movie that you watch over and over again except it’s real and you cannot remind or delete the tape. Can you see the plaster, concrete and metal coming down on you? Can you smell the smoke in the air? Like a giant tsunami or huge wrecking ball aimed at knocking down everything and everyone in sight. But, the truth what prevailed that day was not a storm, not a hurricane but pure evil and hate.

After shocks from that day would rock the world and add to the destruction. September 12, 2001 would bring a different harsh reality and picture. Can you feel the silence? Can you see the falling buildings collapse over and over again in your mind? It would haunt Artie in his dreams and in every waking hour for a long time. A terrorist attack on American soil! Why? Leaving his apartment, trying to follow his morning routine he recounts the events, the people he meets, conversations and sadness.

Told through the eyes of the author you hear his voice, fell his pain, frustrations, the helplessness and the hope that he could find an inner peace within himself. Hate is terrible word but defined the day. His life a constant reminder. Reflecting on his life de decides to make a decision that would change his world, his perspective and more. He takes his own special leap into life and decides to live it one day at a time and redefine who he is. This is one book that everyone needs to read to remember that it really happened. We cannot get caught off guard again. Close your eyes. Do you hear the silence? BOOM! September 11: Never again! Never Forget!


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