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Garrett Morris wrote to Michael Hingson, author of Thunder Dog.
Dear Mr. Hingson,
I wanted to let you know that your book, Thunder Dog, helped me understand what happened on September 1, 2001. That date is one that I used to know only a little about, but thanks to your descriptions, I felt like I was actually there when the Twin Towers were hit by the airplanes. As I read about your experience that day, I felt like I was going down a steep hill on a roller coaster—I felt a drop in my stomach—but unfortunately this "drop" didn't last just a few seconds like on a ride. That sickening feeling stayed with me as I think about the horror of that day and about all of the innocent lives that were lost.
As a blind man, you had to rely on your hearing and touch to figure out what was going on. You relied on our courageous dog, Roselle, to help you navigate the stairwell and street outside despite the chaos. And you had to dig deep within and rely on your faith in God to give you the strength and courage to get out alive. Your story made me question what I would do in that situation? I wonder if I would just be focused on getting out and as far away from what was happening as I could? Or would I be calm like you and Roselle, and actually help people along the way, like when you helped the woman with the dust temporarily blinding her eyes? You have truly inspired me to be a hero like you were, staying calm and helping others in times of trouble, and also by putting my trust in God, no matter what the situation is.
By reading your book, I realized how quickly my world can change. But even more importantly, I realize that regular people can make a huge different in others' lives as they show kindness, compassion, and bravery to those who are hurting or scared around them. Your story gives me hope for the future, because these character traits can be found even in the face of horrific danger. Sometimes a tragedy shows what a man, or a nation, is really made of.
Thank you for your story, Mr. Hingson!
© The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. (Used by permission.)