Monday, August 8, 2011

Survival on 9/11 - A Different Point of View

Thunder Dog, by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory was quite a surprise. I began this book with apprehension. I’m just not ready to be reading books about 9/11 as it’s still too painful. But this book and Michael Hingson’s story is different as it’s about his harrowing escape that day and, also, about his survival each and every day of his life. Hingson is blind and has dealt with issues all his life, but his blindness has never held him back. Try riding a bike or even driving a car with your eyes closed. Try walking through a room and “hearing” the coffee table before running into it. Life has been a series of challenges for Hingson and he’s met each and every one of those challenges head on. 9/11 brought on a challenge no one ever expected. Hingson met that challenge too.

The book describes how Hingson, along with his various guide dogs, has met these challenges and acquired skills most people assumed he could never achieve. The tales of his life are interspersed with his story of 9/11 and his long walk down 78 flights of stairs along with his wonderful guide dog, Roselle and his friend Dave.

Hingson did a great job in telling his story of that tragic day and the aftermath. But he also managed to teach the reader the challenges and the capabilities of the blind. We all tend to assume the blind can’t do many things in life. Let’s not cut them short. Hingson even flew and landed a plane!

This is a fast-reading book and very interesting to boot. Yes, it’s a depressing and sad topic as we deal with 9/11 over and over again. But it’s a day that’s etched in all our lives forever so read Thunder Dog for a very different viewpoint – not from the tragic event but from the survivor’s point of view.

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