We’re Not Leaving is a compilation of powerful first-person narratives told from the vantage point of World Trade Center disaster workers—police officers, firefighters, construction workers, and other volunteers at the site. From Tyree, a court officer who is trapped in the Tower 2 basement while rescuing a critically injured woman, to Michael, an NYPD detective who spent several months at the disaster site, became disabled from WTC-related illness, and began a foundation to support the families of sick police officers, the book tells the deeply personal stories of thirty six 9/11 responders, revealing how ordinary people responded to disaster and devastation in extraordinary ways. We’re Not Leaving spans that harrowing day; the subsequent rescue and recovery efforts; and the ongoing social, physical, and psychological effects on responders. At the heart of every story is evidence of the kinds of personal strength and resilience that are testaments to the power of the human spirit.
“I think I did my best. I had a chance to leave and I chose to stay. I wish more people could’ve been saved. I definitely have survivor’s guilt…my body hurts all the time, every day. I try not to give in to that; I just get up and I try to live my life every day to its fullest.”
—Carol, NYPD officer