102 Minutes by Mary Whitfill

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102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

The Twin Towers stood tall in Lower Manhattan as a symbol of urban renewal for 30 years until an event brought them, and 2,749 innocent victims (xxiv), to the ground. The 2001 terrorist attacks struck fear into the bones of Americans and brought the country into is first war since Vietnam in 1975. 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers tells the ghost stories of those who lost lives in the towers that day due to lack of appropriate response before the South Tower was struck. Through the stories of thousands of victims and survivors of the September 11 attacks and the structure of the novel, Flynn and Dwyer told the world of the disturbing number of people who were effected and the lack of communication and information being passed between emergency personnel, those who were experiencing attacks and those who had yet to fall prey to the crashes.

From the beginning of the novel, Flynn and Dwyer use the stories of those affected by the crash to paint a picture of the destruction and the lack of communication that occurred between the victims and the emergency officers. The most insightful of the examples and stories used are the snippets of actual conversations that occurred after the North Tower had been struck, and before the South was hit. The authors are able to communicate how uninformed everybody was and that nobody had a “clear understanding of what was happening” (27) which was arguably why so many lives were unnecessarily lost. Even during the small windows of opportunity that were presented, those who knew what was going on failed to quickly pass the information on to those whose lives could have been saved, something that Flynn and Dwyer use to point out the incompetence of emergency professionals. The authors emphasize the lack of knowledge passing from the help desk operators to the people of the South tower by using evidence from...
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