September 11, 2001. The day that everything changed; for our country, for those who lost loved ones and for the individuals who witnessed the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center from the street. Artie Van Why worked across from the twin towers and has been sharing his experience of that day ever since; in his memoir, his play and as a public speaker.
Artie's story is about more than just the events of 9/11. It is about reentering life after the one you've always known is taken from you. It's about survivor's guilt, the struggles of PTSD and the memories that are always present.
What Artie has to share is for anyone who has lived through a trauma or tragedy of their own.
Artie at "Never Forget 9-11...The Spirit of America"
Artie wrote a book entitled "That Day In September." He spoke about his experience during 9-11 as he was living in New York at the time. We hosted a special 9-11 event in Lancaster, PA and Artie spoke so beautifully about his experience and how his life was changed. He has worked very hard to embrace his life after 9-11 and we were honored to have him speak at Clipper Stadium on the 10th anniversary. I would support Artie in any way to promote what he hopes to share with others. His compassion and heartfelt honesty enables him to teach others. We are grateful that through Artie's teachings, we can learn how devastation can take a toll on us, accept what we can't control, and prioritize what's really important to us.
Michele DeRosa, Supervisor
Fred F. Groff, Inc.
A Life Celebration Funeral Home
Corporate Event in Lancaster, PA
Sep 11, 2011
Presentation to High School students
Representing our school district educational foundation, I hired Mr. Van Why to present to high school students on the 10th year anniversary of 9/11. The purpose was to educate the students, who were ages 7 and under at the time. Mr. Van Why not only provided an insightful, thoughtful and stirring education on 9/11, he captured the undivided attention of over 2,000 high schoolers. Students were moved to tears and some even stayed after the presentation to shake Mr. Van Why's hand. I would highly recommend Mr. Van Why as a professional, accomplished speaker!
Manheim Twp Educational Foundation
Seminar in Lancaster, PA
Sep 9, 2011
Living Hope out of an otherwise Hopeless Event
Artie presented his story and experience bringing hope to life in what is an otherwise hopeless event. The event was his personal experience of what happened in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. Artie presents a picture of the best of humanity in the face of the worst actions of humanity. He is passionate in his presentation. I am grateful to have both read his book, That Day In September, and to have heard him speak publicly about the events that he experienced on that day. As one of his pastors I heartily recommend that others hear his story.
Pastor K. L.
Religious Celebration in Lancaster, PA
Sep 11, 2011
honest and moving
I'm thankful to Artie for his willingness to share his experience. The emotional energy required to accurately record his observations in a way so easy for the rest of us to relate is certainly huge. The method of performance, one actor with extremely minimalist props, was very effective. Honestly it was a bit inconvenient for me to attend the performance of "That Day In September" (in Lancaster, PA on 10 September 2011) but I would have greatly missed out if I'd let it go by. In commemoration of the tenth anniversary and taking place the evening before, Artie's remembrance made the tragedy very personal so as I listened to coverage and the thoughts of others the next day, what I heard then had much more meaning and weight.
Artie has a powerful way with words, doesn't use too many of them, and communicates with startling honestly and vulnerability. I don't think a person could listen to his story and not have their heart moved.
Religious Celebration in Lancaster, PA
Sep 10, 2011
Powerful portrait of pain and triumph
Artie is a member of the local church where I serve as pastor. It is with an expression of joy and appreciation that I write this review. Artie's play, "That Day in September," is a gripping portrayal of a life lived one day in the swirling torrent of terror, horror, and loss. Artie wasn't merely an eyewitness to an event on 9/11, but he was a player in its unfolding drama. His story is both heart-breaking and inspiring, transcending the sentimental, and lurching the viewer/reader into an authentic moment of doubt, fear, loss and courage. Artie is my friend. I'm glad he survived to tell his story and to live his present life with hope and faith, as fragile as both may be at times for all of us.
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Artie Van Why
Originally from a small town in Maryland, Artie lived in New York City for over twenty six years in New York City. In the last 13 years of his life there he worked as a word processor for a law firm. The firm moved on new offices on June 1, 2001 across from the World Trade Center.
Artie was there the morning of 9/11; witnessing and surviving the horrors of that day. He has chronicled his experience in both a play and book; both titled "That Day In September."
Artie moved to the Lancaster, PA area in 2003 to be closer to his parents.
Artie is devoted to reaching out to young people (in high schools and colleges) who are gay and also identify themselves as a Christian. Those for who this causes great inner conflict. Artie wants to share how he came to reconciling his sexuality with his spiritually.
And for those adults and church members who might never have known a gay person, Artie is eager to share his story to those willing to listen without immediate judgment.
"In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story." - Walter Cronkite
"Van Why's is a story worth telling, and he tells it with passion and conviction. By relating his experiences . . . to rooms full of strangers, Van Why is making a difference in his own life and probably many others. At least he's working hard to make sure that that day in September won't be forgotten."
– Martin Denton
"Van Why claims neither hero nor victim status. He's just a man who was shaken to his core and emerged a new, stronger person."
– Michael J. Toscano
"Countless heroes emerged from the chaos of Sept. 11, and by selflessly sharing his story, Van Why must be counted among their number."
– David C. Nichols
"With a deep sense of empathy and feeling, Van Why is an extremely compassionate narrator. His memories are detailed and vivid."
– Nicole Langan
In memory of the 10th anniversary of the devastating attacks on 9/11, our school welcomed survivor Artie Van Why to help our students comprehend how and why the world they live in was changed forever by those events. As Artie relived his experiences of that day, over 1,000 students and faculty members were taken back to New York and the Twin Towers area. They listened in complete silence as they were taken from the relative calm of another day in the office, to the chaos and terror of the attacks, to the aftermath for one man and the people he lived near, worked with, and cared about.
Mr. Van Why's presentation is powerful and leaves a lasting impression. The classroom discussions that followed were insightful, demonstrated a deep understanding of the impact of 9/11, and revealed a palpable empathy for the victims and heroes of "that day in September." Our school was truly touched by his presence here and by his descriptions and images of the events of September 11, 2001. I highly recommend Artie as a speaker for your students to help them see and feel what our students saw and felt through his eyes.