Daily News: Voices From Then & Now

September 03, 2011

Voices From Then & Now:
Stories about 9/11 from the families that experienced the most
By Sherryl Connelly – NY Daily News
In the 10 years that have passed there have been countless books that addressed the attacks of 9/11 from every angle, every perspective. But on this anniversary it seems fitting to hear from the families. Their pain may be ours, but only they can give true voice to it. SHARE YOUR 9/11 MEMORIES ON OUR TRIBUTE SITE “A Decade of Hope: Stories of Grief and Endurance From 9/11 Families and Friends” by Dennis Smith with Deirdre Smith. 
Dennis Smith, a well-known New Yorker and nonfiction author, is an integral member of the first responder community. His book “Report from Ground Zero” was a best seller. Here he focuses on the personal stories of those who lost loved ones in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Talat Hamdani’s son, Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a police cadet who responded that day, died, but she had to endure the headline-making suspicion that he was a terrorist. Jim Smith is a retired NYPD officer who lost his wife, Moira, a patrol officer. Ada Rosario Dolch, principal of the nearby Leadership and Public Service High School, organized the evacuation of 600 students, purposely not thinking of her sister, Wendy, who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. She died along with 657 others at the firm.“Where You Left Me” by Jennifer Gardner Trulson. 
Trulson belongs to a subset of wealthy widows some bristle at. As well, she started a relationship 10 months after losing her husband, Douglas Gardner, a senior executive at Cantor Fitzgerald, in the North Tower. Is she qualified to speak for the widows? Well, she doesn’t. Trulson draws from her own well of agony and her voice is authentic. She can be bitter, wry, scared and hopeful, sometimes in the same moment. Her son and daughter were 4 and 2 years old when her husband died. She moved within a supportive, privileged circle, yet found she resisted accepting their care and concern. Grief is isolating. In time she forced herself to at least give the appearance of righting herself. One night out with her friends in the Hamptons, a commercial real estate broker fresh from Seattle stepped on her foot. In 2005 they would marry. There is no moral or message to her story, just a straightforward account of what it was like then and now and how she got there.
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