As a child and young adult, Disney’s storytelling became an important part of my life, teaching me to engage audiences. In my career, I tell stories through the magic of Guest engagement as a Product Manager at The Walt Disney Company.
I’ve been crafting stories for as long as I can remember, but in 2020 I decided to take the plunge and dedicate myself to writing my first book.
My first book is inspired by my husband and his story as a 9/11 Surviving Child. His story is one of 3,000 stories (not including the 2,000 adult-age people who lost a parent that day and the countless others who have gone on to lose a parent due to 9/11 illnesses) that need to be told. I'm grateful to Jon and the many others I've interviewed thus far who have been so willing to share.
A Letter from Jon
A 9/11 Surviving Child
My name is Jonathan Robert Lynch, and I’m a 9/11 Surviving Child.
I’m also much more than that. I’m a performer. A craftsman. A Disney junkie. A Harry Potter enthusiast. A dog lover. An adventure seeker. A child of God.
Last but not least, I’m the husband to an amazing woman, Payton, who cares deeply about my story and the story of all 9/11 Surviving Children. Stories of loss, trauma, despair, but also stories of joy, gratitude, and resilience.
My wife has recognized an insightful connection between my resiliency through many challenges and the loss I experienced as a child on 9/11. After 20 years, the heartache has manifested into something else.
With great integrity and empathy, I’ve watched my wife write this book, interviewing dozens of 9/11 Surviving Children and the grief counselors. I’ve watched her cry as she pours over research and relives the day with her interviewees. This book has taught me so much about myself and all that I share with other 9/11 Surviving Children. Shared tragedy for sure, but shared triumph as well. The intent is not to downplay the loss we all felt that day, but rather to highlight the resilience, long-term healing, hope, and appreciation that may have come from our loss.
Our stories are important. By sharing them, we can invoke empathy in the hearts of others who don’t understand and hopefully prevent something like 9/11 from happening ever again. Our stories can also help others going through trauma see that there is hope for them. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you are not alone!
Rise From the Ashes: Stories of Trauma, Resilience, and Growth From the Children of 9/11
About the Book
In the face of every challenge, I've seen my husband, Jon, walk through tough seasons with a grateful and hopeful heart. I fell in love with him for many reasons, including his adaptability through every challenge.
I used to not be able to figure it out. Why does Jon respond so positively to adversity? While Jon is not defined by the tragedy of 9/11, he is certainly shaped by it.
Experiencing the trauma of very publicly losing his father, Robert Henry Lynch Jr., has brought so much heartache. However, years later, I’ve watched him turn tragedy into triumph.
I originally thought Jon’s resiliency was an anomaly, but as I researched and learned more about others who had a front-row-seat to the tragedy that defined a nation, I found that my husband was not alone. In fact, hundreds of children of 9/11 are thriving in spite of their trauma. In addition, studies have shown that children who experience trauma in their childhood actually have better coping mechanisms than children who don’t have those experiences.
Throughout this book, we will explore their stories and uncover the secret sauce to their resiliency. We will talk about what it is that the children of 9/11 can teach us, 20 years later. In hearing their stories, we will discover what it means to bounce forward after tragedy, and how our past doesn’t define us, but it definitely shapes us.
The pre-sale campaign received incredible reception, raising over $13,000 in 30 days. $4,000 from the campaign will be donated to Tuesday's Children, which supports individuals impacted by terrorism, military conflict or mass violence.