Michael Benfante, who grew up and still lives in New Jersey, worked on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. After his building was attacked, he started working his way down the stairs with some co-workers. He was on the 68th floor when he encountered a woman in a wheelchair who needed help in getting down the stairs. Benfante and a co-worker carried her down the remaining 68 floors.
Benfante became a national hero after he was caught by TV cameras after coming out of the building, which you can see in the video above.
Benfante hass a new book out about his experiences before, during and after September 11, 2001. It is called Reluctant Hero: A 9/11 Survivor Speaks Out About That Unthinkable Day, What He's Learned, How He's Struggled, and What No One Should Ever Forget.
Benfante will signing copies of this book at Watchung Booksellers in Upper Montclair, New Jersey (one of my favorite indie booksellers) on Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7 PM. You can read about it here.
My review of this book is on my book review blog, The Literary Lioness. You can read it here.