The morning after 9/11 Artie sat at his computer to write a brief email in response to all the voice mails and emails he had received from friends and family concerned with his well-being.
Artie intended to just write that he was physically okay. But as he began typing he started putting into words the events of that previous morning as he had witnessed them. Artie described each detail; the sounds, the smells, the fear and the horrific images now etched in his mind.
When finished, Artie hit the “Send” button and the email went out across the country. Soon after, recipients of that email began to respond; thanking Artie for making the events of 9/11 unequivocally real and personal and urging him to keep writing. So he did.
And though Artie continued writing with no intention, eventually he felt compelled to tell his story to others. Not because it was of greater significance than anyone else’s, but because, for Artie, it would be his personal memorial to honor those who died; as well as his encouragement to those who would hear his story to never forget that day in September.
Artie compiled all he had written and with the help of his friend, Richard Masur, Artie wrote and performed his one man play, That Day In September (with Richard directing) in L.A. and New York.
After the New York run of his play Artie moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was then that Artie adapted his play into the memoir, That Day In September.
And throughout Artie’s progression of telling his story, he has become a sought after Speaker. Whether his audience is comprised of adults who remember where they were on 9/11 to high school and college students who were mere children that day, everyone comes away with an insight that can only be realized after hearing the story of a survivor of 9/11.
The words of gratitude and thanks, sometimes amidst tears, from people who have heard Artie share his story confirms that people want to know more about 9/11 than what they have read or seen. They want to experience that day through the eyes of one who was in the streets surrounding the World Trade Center. That is reason enough for Artie to continue to share his story.