Jan 14

In the aftermath of a Haiti disaster, Miracle on the Hudson survivors will still commemorate the one-year anniversary of the day that 155 people took a swim in the Hudson River along with a commercial airbus, two life rafts, and a whole lot of plastic inflatable life vests “stowed underneath your seat in case of a water landing.”

That’s what was happening on January 15, 2009. What’s happening in the days surrounding January 15, 2010 is very different. The attention of the world is focused on Haiti, and the human drama that is playing out there. But that shouldn’t dim the celebration that is still legitimately joyful, and filled with book signings, reunions, celebrations, speaking engagements, and lots and lots of media attention for 155 Hudson crash survivors.

We need to remember things like the Miracle on the Hudson during tragedies like the Haiti earthquake because we can only make it through the disasters by keeping focused on the hope of a better future. Hope is what the Miracle on the Hudson made us all feel, and that’s what we can legitimately allow ourselves to feel again one year later.

This one-year anniversary is an important and meaningful time for everyone who played an integral part in creating a real-life miracle. In a different way, it is equally important and meaningful to everyone else who watched with awe as the drama unfolded before the eyes of the world, as if it was the ultimate reality show. In great contrast to the Haiti earthquake disaster, the Miracle on the Hudson was a disaster avoided. And it’s important to remember what that feels like.

Those who felt renewed in their faith can remember and feel that faith again. Those who were filled with appreciation for how precious life is can remember and feel that appreciation again. Those who were reassured that there are still heroes – like Captain Sully Sullenberger, Jeff Skiles, New York Waterway boat crews, first responders, firefighters, police officers, EMT’s and Red Cross volunteers – can remember and feel reassured again. Those who were filled with awe about breath-taking moments that shouldn’t happen – but somehow do – can remember and be filled with awe again.

Those who want to feel uplifted will be lifting a glass during the official toast at the crash site. Those who have an insatiable fascination for near death experiences and second chance lives will be standing in lines to meet the survivors who wrote their own stories for the Miracle on the Hudson anniversary book, “Brace For Impact.” Those who want to feel inspired again started the week watching the “Brace For Impact” documentary on TLC, and will be listening intently to the interviews and speeches that are happening all week. Those who have lost interest will probably ignore everything and miss a rare opportunity to participate once again in something extraordinary.

Some anniversaries – like September 11, and now the Haiti earthquake – are thrust involuntarily upon us. But most anniversaries are commemorated by choice because of the positive feelings they help us recall. The Miracle on the Hudson will be an anniversary celebration of choice for millions of people for many years to come. It represents the best of the human spirit, the highest form of fate, and the fairy tale ending that we want to believe can happen for us all. It reminds us that even the devastating collapse of physical structures in Haiti cannot collapse the structure of the human spirit.

Happy anniversary to a miracle! And many happy returns.

More on the Miracle on the Hudson Anniversary:

Miracle on the Hudson Anniversary Book
Brace for Impact Second Chances Writing Contest

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Nov 11

Coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the Hudson River landing of US Airways Flight 1549, Brace for Impact: Miracle on the Hudson Survivors Share Their Stories of Near Death and Hope for New Life , written by Kevin Quirk and Dorothy Firman, is the only book written in the words of 25 survivors detailing the impact their close encounter with death has had on them and their lives—both good and bad—over the past year. Each of the stories, as told to the authors, are compelling and thematically arranged, and includes life lessons readers will find helpful and inspirational in their own struggles for resilience.

The story of Captain “Sully” Sullenberger’s miraculous landing, the heroic acts of first responders, and the images of 150 grateful souls stepping off those water-coated wings to safety with nothing worse than soggy clothes and minor injuries has touched the world. There have been hundreds of high-profile media accounts and recent documentaries recounting the ins and outs of this stunning tale of survival against all odds and this “Miracle on the Hudson”, but Brace for Impact focuses primarily on an entirely different dimension to this captivating story: life after the crash.

This is the different, more meaningful, and more timely story that has yet to be told. What happened to these passengers when they went home to their families, their homes, their jobs, and everything else familiar but somehow not the same? What has been the real impact? Not of a disastrous crash, but instead the gift of a “new” life? What can we learn from the honest and open sharing of ordinary people who came back from the brink of death? Brace for Impact answers those questions and more by taking readers inside the hearts, minds and souls of 25 passengers. This inspirational book is designed to stir, encourage, and uplift anyone already moved by this stunning near-death experience and anyone seeking meaning during today’s troubled times.

Co-author Dorothy Firman is the New York Times best-selling coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Mother and Daughter Soul, and two other books in the Chicken Soup series. Co-author Kevin Quirk is the author of Not Now, Honey, I’m Watching the Game, which was featured on 20/20, CBS, NPR, Redbook, the Washington Post, and more than 100 other media and Internet forums.

For More Information visit the Miracle on the Hudson Survivors Blog where you will be able to read more stories, watch videos and correspond with the passengers.

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