Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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****Walking Forward Looking Back

Lessons from the World Trade Center

A Survivor's Story

by John Labriola

Reviewed September 15, 2003.
Hydra Publishing, New York, 2003.  192 pages.

I thought I had read enough books about September 11th, but perhaps there can never really be enough.  Enough for what?  Enough to take away the shock and grief?  Enough to begin to understand the magnitude of the tragedy?

When this book came into the library, I was immediately mesmerized.  I had finished reading it before the sun went down.  John Labriola liked to carry his camera with him.  He even took pictures on the morning of September 11th on his way to work on the 71st floor of the World Trade Center.  Some of his pictures from that morning seem the most poignant to me, everyone completely unsuspecting what was about to take place.

He made it down the long journey in the stairwell and captured the faces of firefighters going up while a long line of people in suits made their way down.  He was in a church when the towers fell, and was thus protected from the falling debris.  The fact that he didn’t see it happen made it seem completely unreal to him.

This book includes all 110 pictures that were in his camera that day.  Even the blurry images seem important.  He also includes the stories of some people whose faces appear in his pictures and tell of his elation any time that he heard that one of those people survived.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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