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Showing 1-10 of 29 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 44 reviews
on December 5, 2012
While the way a book reads is important to me, sometimes things such as grammar and point of view are not as important as the actual substance matter. I felt this book was a book that needed to be written. There have been many accounts of this tragedy, told through many different perspectives, but I have never read one quite like this. For the men that were part of the history of this day that lost their lives and for the families that lost the ones they loved, this book honors their memories and gives the world a look at what has not been reported before. This book is very human, and told through the voices of various first hand witnesses, this is an important book that is also very touching.

What I liked the most about this book, was that the author did not put too much personal drama in it. This story is really for the American people, rather than just being an attempt at fame for the person who wrote it.I read this book and the images of that day flooded into my mind. While it is a tough subject for all of us to recall, it is also important that we never forget those who sacrificed all they had and all they were to protect what they believed in. I congratulate this author for the monumental effort putting together this book must have taken. Please, read this book and recommend it to those you love.
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on March 22, 2013
If you're getting ready to purchase this book, get ready for a lot of sleepless nights. Not only is this book deep because the events are real & so recent, but it takes you back to that day on 9/11 intimately: what people were doing on that day, what type of day it was, and how it changed everyone's lives forever-namely the 1st responders. When I purchased the book, I knew that it would be an emotional read, what I didn't expect was all of the "insider information" that didn't appear in the 9/11 Commission report, on the news, or in the newspapers. The thoughts, feelings, and actions of the 1st responders are told in intimate detail: from what they saw on the ground, to what they experienced trying to rescue others. They explain how their teams were structured, what their roles were, and who was assigned to go into the building & those that were assigned to the outside to manage the chaos. They talk about the sounds of the falling bodies, the smell of the jet fuel, combined with fires that were breaking out everywhere. Survivors talk about what it was like when the buildings came down around them & how they managed to survive it all. And, they mentioned stories never told before - such as Mr. X who was found wandering one of the towers in a suit with a briefcase, cell phone, & toy rabbit that the police eventually arrested. I won't spoil who he was or what happened when they tried to arrest him, but I guarantee it's a story not heard in the media or anywhere else.

In addition, this book talks about the aftermath of 9/11. What it was like for the 1st responders to go to the site day after day, night after night, waiting & hoping to find their colleagues who never made it out. (And those who did make it out - there are some stories of those people as well.) It also talk about the EPA & what a joke they were measuring the air quality & telling residents it was safe to move back into their apartments 1 week after the tragedy.

Here's the best part of the book - we learn who these responders were: how many children they had, if they liked to play poker on Friday nights, if they liked to ride their motorcycles....details that you usually don't get from other books written on this topic. The end of the book also follows up with what's happened to the survivors of the tragedy - a "where are they now", if you will, of sorts: are they sick? are they suffering from diseases? did they retire? did they start a family? details that, again, you don't usually find in books about this topic. When I purchased the book, I wasn't sure if there would be a aftermath & follow-up to the responders, but I'm glad there was - it made a perfect ending to the story in the spirit of 9/11, as we all did our best to try & move on afterwards.

The author did a great job of piecing together each story & painting a side-by-side view of what was happening with all of the 1st responders - both in the air & on the ground at the same time. So as you read one chapter about Team One on the ground, the next chapter goes into what is happening with Team Two at the same time during the crisis. This allows the reader to have a complete picture on the events unfolding & the plan for rescue from each group. It's quite a ride & hard at times to keep up with the pace of the teams, since it's the same as the events unfolding. Especially when you're talking about reading about multiple teams, so that can be quite a fast pace where someone could get easily confused. I found myself having to go back to the beginning of the chapter & think "Which team is this? Where are we?", which I liked personally because it put me in the same frame of mind that I'm sure the victims were in at the time: what's happening? what's going on? where do I go? So I could certainly appreciate if the author did this on purpose or if it just came with the pace of the event. Or perhaps it was my adrenaline kicking in as I turned each page. A great read - highly recommended for those who want to know the true story of what it was like to be there on that day.
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on June 28, 2009
On 9/11/01, I left work early because I was too stunned to function at my office job, knowing what was happening a couple of miles south in lower Manhattan. With the subways and busses not running, I spent hours zigzagging downtown, dazed and helpless, but mindlessly trying to get closer to the scene - hitting police barricades from the East River to the Hudson. Eventually, after many drinks, I fell asleep at a friend's apartment in Chelsea, and like millions of other New Yorkers, spent the next few months assimilating what had happened.

That was a day I don't like to relive, and this book was not an easy read, emotionally. Still, I couldn't put it down. This well-researched and fast-paced account brings home the experiences of the NYPD emergency teams who were the first on the scene. Written by a New York police officer, from interviews with the officers who nearly perished saving lives, it's a fascinating and important perspective on a subject I thought had been squeezed dry. Only a police officer could have written this book, in this way, with this kind of impact - and while it's certainly not a book only for cops, any policeman or policewoman reading it will feel proud of what made them, and their comrades at the scene of 9/11, choose their profession.
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on April 30, 2014
We all remember where and with whom we were with on 9/11, but this book explores who the police officers were who responded. I can certainly say after reading this book that you should feel a deeper appreciation for first responders and their bravery, courage and selfless service. At many points you do actually feel like you're in the Twin Towers, because the writing is so powerful. It's hard to believe a city cop wrote this book, as many parts seemed to straight from a Jerry Bruckheimer action film on 9/11.

The only complaint I have was that you need to have a clear understanding of NYC, it's streets and politics. I found myself glazing over many paragraphs due to the rapid fire reporting on the street level. It was hard keeping my focus at these parts. The book seemed to have a technical glitch too as many of the paragraphs ran together...

Overall a decent read on the heroism portrayed by NYC' s finest.
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on January 6, 2013
The First Responders: The Untold Story of the New York City Police Department & September 11th, 2001, by Anthea Appel.

This book provided a new perspective on September 11 from what I had read before. Ultimately, although the names and the employers were different, the experiences of the New York City Police Department was little different from that of the New York City Fire Department. Both suffered from disorganization and confusion, and ultimately tragic loss of life, although the Police Department was a little better organized than the fire department. At the same time, it was nice to see the police officers get their due after being largely relegated to the background while the fire department, because of their enormous number of casualties, took the spotlight and most of the glory.

Ultimately, while interesting, I didn't learn very much new information from this book. Nonetheless, I think it plays an important role in the chronicalling of that horrible day, adding one more voice, one more angle to the story. 3 out of 5.
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on January 6, 2013
I rarely give 5 stars but no hesitation for this particular title !
Living in Europe and not being an avid TV watcher, I knew 9/11 was an event I still had a lot to learn about when I ran accross this book. I felt instantly completely transported and "on location" as I read, the very factual style allowed me to understand what the first responders encountered practically and the size of the challenges to be met became real, it increased my respect for these increadibly courrageous men and women a great deal ! I also really liked the fact that the emotions involved were always present but not the focus of the book, and that the health issues derived from the exposure to these extraordinary set of circumstances were also clearly laid out at the end of the book, a great documentary on real people with real issues.
Finally, as a "side effect" I had a much better understanding of the importance of the American Flag for the American People after reading the chapter which refers to it in the context of 9/11.
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on August 16, 2014
9-11 was a nightmare for ALL New Yorkers. This story of the NYPD and ESU is all the heartrending truth of that day and the many days weeks months and years in its aftermath. My brother and husband and many friends lived it worked it and suffered it. All are retired now. The play by play the descriptions and feelings of these guys in the book are so true raw and unbelievably experienced by these true heroes. So many cops got out that day because of the cops depicted in their book, their story. Read it and thank ESU and the NYPD everyday
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on March 25, 2013
It was a great read, very compelling story. Certainly was nice to read a book with the NY City Police Department perspective. Those ESU officers were very heroic on September 11 as they are on a daily basis.

The only drawback on this book involves a lack of proofreading by the publisher, as there were numerous grammar errors; however that did not take away from the readability of the book.
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on September 5, 2016
It was a very good book with a lot if information about 9-11. I just wish it had pictures. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject.
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on February 8, 2010
Ms. Appel Through Research and Interview's With The First Resopnder's of the NYPD Has Brought Together The True and Un Embellished, Tales of those faced With A herculian Task, Acting In teams Brought Together at the Scene, they Proceeded To Form A concerted Mission of Search and Rescue, With The Equipment at hand, Disregarding there own safety
Ms. Appel Was Able To Bring out the Frustration and tears Of The Men Without Shame, as They Strove To Reach those Trapped
It Is The One Demonstrative Story Of The Untold Response of the NYPD And The member's of the NYPD Emergency service unit
Ms. Appel, as A Retired NYPD Police Officer Assembled The Fact's and To this Gripping tale, Of Devotion To Duty in The Highest Example of The NYPD With out Citing One person, Rather the Teamwork and Trust Shared By the NYPD First responder's
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