By Jessica Easthope
Will Jimeno is an author. His stories are about overcoming fear and living your faith. But there’s nothing fictional about them – he did both on September 11, 2001.
“I always say if God left me on this earth for a reason as a survivor, it’s my responsibility and obligation to help other people,” Will said.
But get this: one of his 9/11 books is for kids. “Immigrant, American, Survivor,” is about that day, his journey to the U.S. from Colombia and his Catholic upbringing.
In the years following 9/11, Will was asked to talk to young students who were afraid to fly and his speaking engagements evolved into a message – never give up.
“How do I talk to kids about the darkest day in U.S. history and I think it just came from my heart,” he said. “I went through the same trials and tribulations as every other child, I am no different than them.”
In the children’s book, you see Will as a Port Authority police officer, trapped, crushed beneath the World Trade Center’s 220 stories of concrete and steel.
“Something I always did to my wife and my daughter is the sign language ‘I love you,’” he said, “so I took my hands and crossed them against my chest because I figured I was gonna die and they’d find me like this and be able to tell my wife I was thinking about her.”
After 13 hours, he was only one of two people pulled alive from underneath the collapse.
His experience even went on to become the plot of the 2006 Oliver Stone movie, “World Trade Center.”
To the world who watched in horror on that day, 9/11 was a tragedy, but for Will he’s been able to take the good with the bad.
“Jesus died for us if we just look that they nailed Him on the cross it’s just a tragedy,” said Will. “It’s not a tragedy he gave his life for us. On 9/11, I don’t look at what the terrorists did, I look at all the good that happened.”
That’s a lesson he hopes to pass to the next generation.
You can buy Jimeno’s 9/11 children’s book – “Immigrant American Survivor” on Amazon. Paperback and digital editions are available.