A special 9/11 anthology from Hard Shell Word Factory


Brian W. Vaszily’s Beyond Stone and Steel: A Memorial to the September 11, 2001 Victims


The tragedy of September 11, 2001 has left us each trying to fill a uniquely unfamiliar void in our soul with something that will make us whole again. Somehow we need to feel the experience in a way that following the news coverage just doesn’t do for us.

Brian W. Vaszily found a way, and shares it with us in this brilliant anthology of thoughts, feelings, desires and dreams that were cut short on that terrible Tuesday. Through fictional characters he does what no news story or survivor’s account can-he brings us into the lives of people, who could be our friend, or mother, or spouse, as they play their final minutes.

This is an uplifting work that gently guides the reader beyond the stone and steel of the tragedy to reaffirm what is truly important about being alive. We hear the very last thoughts of victims who jumped from the World Trade Center towers – wishes for mothers and sons, wishes of hope for the living. We enter a fireman’s mind as he forces his way up the stairwell a minute before the tower collapses, fighting his instinct to run down with everyone else because “he can save at least one.” A young soldier, just killed in the Pentagon, tells us what he would do if he had just one more day of life. These are just a few of the many accounts we read in this book. In the last section, a dying husband buried beneath the rubble composes, in his head, a final letter to his wife “somewhere high above.”

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