It’s heartbreaking for me to think back on September 11, 2001. Where were you on that day? Everybody remembers. It’s one of those defining moments. The Only Plane in the Sky by Garret M. Graff (Simon & Schuster, 2019; audiobook) is an “Oral History of 9/11” and provides a necessary and thorough account of the memorable day with first-hand accounts as well as a narrative structure that captures the essence of the happenings and emotions of the day.
Listening to this book on audio was amazing. Different voices dramatize the various first person passages, and their narrations throbbed with the emotion of what they are speaking. The author has seamlessly knit the news and the stories of the day, including the stories of those who helped in NEw York City, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
The “only plane in the sky” that the title refers to George W. Bush’s plane, as every other aircraft was grounded. He was flown somewhere safe. These little stories that I was unfamiliar with added to the narrative, giving the entire audiobook a comprehensive feel, as well a cohesive one.
For anybody who was alive on September 11th, the book will bring sadness as we remember. But The Only Plane in the Sky is also a Testament to the strength and the kindness of people as community comes together to help. We all have the ability to overcome giant tragedies. After so many years,, we can look at this historical record of September 11th so that those in the future will understand what it was like to live through, what happened, and the multitude of people from many walks of life who experienced this even. The Only Plane in the Sky will help ensure that we will never forget the patriotism, the bravery, and the tragedy of September 11.