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It was 8:45 am and the world was safe. Terrorism was a word that the children of America had not yet learned, something that happened far from the shadows cast under flags of stars and stripes. Yet a minute later, the safety blanket of the Western World would be stripped away. And a new generation of Americans would be born together, with open eyes fixed on the smoldering blue skies of the New York City skyline.
The Staten Island Ferry wasn’t drifting toward downtown Manhattan that September morning. It was slowly inching closer to hell. Aboard, packed shoulder to shoulder, stood hundreds of rescue workers, firefighters and police officers. Each was about to redefine the words bravery and heroism forever.
Officer Joseph Cammarata waited on the front deck of the boat. And as the entire world watched the South Tower collapse, he witnessed something completely different. Because in that same tragic second, Michael Cammarata was gone. At 22-years-old, Joe’s younger brother would be the youngest firefighter to perish that day.
That afternoon, the names of the missing started trickling in. First a few, then dozens at a time. I remember someone telling me that my friend Michael wasn’t coming home and that Joe was on the pile, sifting through the nightmare to find him. I’d later learn from Joe that clawing through the wreckage – lifting steel and concrete and the weight of a solemn nation – would prove to be the easy part. For it was the heavy heart, the emotion and chaos that he’d continue to carry for years, that would crush him to the core. (As it turned out, those buildings took the lives of people that were nowhere near the downtown area that day.) The search for answers, the search for a reason why never stopped until Joe found himself completely numb. Completely empty. Completely alone.
Joe Cammarata was at the bottom. The thought of it strikes pain in me. But somehow, Joe summoned the strength to realize the bottom was a gift – a special place to be. Where some see an end, Joe saw a beginning. It was searching the bottom that allowed him search his soul. To build something completely new—a life filled with love, courage and a relentless commitment to honoring the unique spirit of his lost brother.
This is the story told in Rise From the Rubble. The story of one man’s remarkable journey to the darkest of emotional places. And his inspiring decision to sever ties with that pain and find the gifts that September 11th gave him. A new wife, a wonderful daughter and a deeper connection to an already strong family. It was the only way he knew to help us all make sense of a completely senseless day.
This is Joe’s amazing gift. A gift he gives his family, a gift he gives himself and to my great fortune, a gift he gives his friends. And as this amazing man continues to progress, and chase the things he’s set out to achieve, it will be a gift for more and more people in the world around him. - Ronn Pearson
The moment is finally here! Author Joseph Cammarata has worked day and night for a very long time to write, design and create this monumental piece of literature. Not only will this book be a great story, it will also portray the emotional rollercoaster that went on through the life of Joseph during his recovery period.
This book has taken a lot of time from author Joseph Cammarata. He wanted every chapter in the book to represent a period of change that occurred after this tragic event. He was inspired by his brother to always try and achieve a higher standard. Now that his book has been released, he has accomplished another goal since his brothers passing. This book will not only touch those who knew Michael but touch all those who have ever lost somebody close to them.
We invite you to browse our site and see how Fire Fighter Michael F. Cammarata touched the lives of so many. You can see his life through our photo gallery as well as read his biography located on OUR HERO page of the site. If you would like to purchase the book, please click the link located below. We hope you enjoy our site as well as our book!