“We all have our assistants”


The Marjory Stoneman Douglas The high school shooting and subsequent calculation of gun violence began to generate books just months after the tragic 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre.

And now comes Fred guttenberg, father of a first year high school student killed Jaime Guttenberg. He added to this body of work with “Find the Helpers: What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose, and Hope”. It was released as an eBook a year ago and will be released in paperback next month.

“I hope my message can be calm against chaos, light against darkness,” writes Guttenberg. “I have decided to be a helper and I won’t stop fighting until the world is a better place… I’m just getting started.”

This book, like others, has a lot of politics: Receiving Phone Calls from the President Joe Biden (then vice-president), being out of the Capitol at the president’s Donald Assetthe State of the Union discourse after an explosion and trying to Tucker carlsonthe Fox News broadcast. But this is the first book to come out of the Parkland tragedy that left 17 people dead and 17 injured that seeks to appeal to anyone who has gone through any sort of loss.

“This is the story of the community and the people that I didn’t expect,” said Guttenberg.

He said he hoped the book would help others get through the tragedy to open up to the caregivers around them, even if their tragedy didn’t make the headlines.

Rep. the United States Eric Swalwell, actress Alyssa Milano and former member Gabby Giffords include a who’s who of gun control activists praising Guttenberg’s book.

Inspiration for the book began when the funeral director who was handling preparations for his daughter’s funeral handed Guttenberg a white paper and urged him to keep a journal.

Four months before the shooting, Guttenberg had lost his brother, Dr. Michel guttenberg, pancreatic cancer. His untimely death at the age of 50 is believed to have been the result of exposure to dust and chemicals resulting from his work at Ground Zero in New York City as the Fire Department’s medical director.

As Guttenberg wrote, he started with a whole different story in mind.

“It was about being a part of two American tragedies and how the country responded to both,” Guttenberg said. “But then it became about all of these other people.”

Guttenberg writes about first responders who closed roads to mark his brother’s funeral with 75 ambulances, fire engines and escorts. He says dancers from across the country showed up in all sorts of ways, wearing orange ribbons in honor of Jaime, who was also a dancer, and an unexpected blessing when he found a “Love Jaime Day” pop-up. “on her cell phone reminders after she was dead. She had programmed it.

“We all have our assistants and we don’t go through it alone,” he said.


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