Friday, January 28, 2005

Book 5 -- A Biography -- Last Man Down

I just finished my fifth book of the year and I appear to be on pace to complete my goal of 52 books in one year.

I recently went to an event that featured New York Fire Department Battalion Chief Richard "Pitch" Picciotto as the keynote speaker. He spoke of his experiences in the latest World Trade Center terrorist attack in September 2001. It was a moving speech.

It moved me enough that I wanted to meet him after the speech and I was lucky to later that night. We spoke for about 15 minutes about his ordeal and how other parts of the country receive him when he speaks to them. It was an inspiring 15 minutes.

I also maintained contact with him and he sent me an autographed copy of his book -- Last Man Down.

The book is a haunting description of his drive to the Towers, his saving of people, and his unfortunate participation and 4 story ride during the collapse of the second tower. This story was even more dramatic for me as I remembered his speech and his voice while reading it.

The book itself isn't well written as it is primarily the conversation and words of a man who isn't eloquent. That is what makes the book so powerful. It isn't a flashy book that uses a thesaurous to make a wordy impression. It is about the subject and one gritty man's relation of the tale.

By the end of the book, I had forgotten the words and profanity and I moved to a feeling of respect and awe for a man who made a difference that day.

This is an interesting perspective to the events of September 11th and it should be a read for anyone who wants to understand the true terror the firemen and Twin Tower employees went through.


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