Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Don’t Let the Bad Guys Win: 9/11-Survivor to Speak at St. Mark’s

Michael Hingson with guide dog Roselle
by Karen Scanlon

Quantum Corporation sales manager Michael Hingson was about to hold four seminars on the 78th floor of the North Tower, World Trade Center in New York City when a dull thud rocked the building. “We’ve got to get out!” he thought.

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church presents 9/11-survivor Michael Hingson on Sunday, May 31 at 5:00 P.M., the second in a series of Conversations for the Common Good. Mark your calendars now, everyone is welcome. Don’t miss Hingson’s telling of his heroic story during the events that brought down the Twin Towers and his escape with guide dog, Roselle.

Michael Hingson is blind. Born prematurely, in the early 1950s, he was given pure oxygen in his incubator, a situation known now to retard retinal development. But this man is the first to reveal the difference between sight and vision.

Every human old enough to remember the morning of September 11, 2001 likely retains a vivid mental image of the first TV broadcasts of jet liners crashing into New York towers. TV viewers witnessing the scenes outside knew more than many of the thousands of people still inside those buildings.

“The tower shuddered,” Michael recalls. “My colleague, David Frank, and I aimed for the exit stairway. I had experienced enough fire drills over time and knew the route out. I took Roselle’s collar and gave her usual commands, and we moved down the stairs not knowing what was going on. We could smell what seemed like jet fuel. Firemen moved past us in the stairwell.”

Hingson, Frank, and guide dog Roselle managed to get out of the North Tower complex and headed north then west toward the New York Stock Exchange. “We were 100 yards from the South Tower,” Hingson said, “and David wanted to stop to take pictures. I tried to call my wife…oh, my God, don’t let that tower tip over! You get us out of one building only to have another fall on us? Everyone turned and ran!”

Ask Michael Hingson if he has recurring bouts of anxiety over the events of 9/11 when Islamic terrorist attacks killed 2,996 people in New York City and he will tell you that he won’t allow himself to feel fear or hate. “It won’t bother them,” he says, “if we hate, it only hurts us. When all is said and done, if we let fear hold its grip on us, then the bad guys win. I have learned to move toward love, there have already been too many religious wars and destruction.

Michael Hingson is a #1 New York Times best-selling author of Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust. He travels far and wide as motivational speaker and consultant, instilling the values of trust and teamwork, disability inclusion, and how to take charge of change in our lives.

Find St. Mark’s United Methodist Church at 3502 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, CA 92117. For more information go to www.stmarksumcsd.org, or phone 858 273-1480.

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