Ann Van Hine

Biographies & Memoirs

Author Profile

Ann  Van Hine

Ann Clark Van Hine, aka Miss Ann, was born in Oxford, England but grew up in Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, New Jersey and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Ann is the mom of two grown daughters, the widow of a FDNY firefighter, a retired small business owner, a docent with 9/11 Tribute Museum, published writer, Children’s Ministries volunteer and a breast cancer survivor. Since September 11, 2001, Ann has had numerous opportunities to share the story of God’s presence and peace as she navigated “a personal loss in the midst of a national tragedy.” She has shared her story all over the USA and internationally in Ireland, Belgium, England, and Japan.

Books

Pieces Falling

Biographies & Memoirs

As a wife and mom, church volunteer, and small business owner, Ann Van Hine prided herself on being in control of her life. Until 9/11. Pieces Falling is Ann's story of navigating the very personal loss of her husband, Bruce-a New York City firefighter who died on 9/11- amid the very public tragedy that shocked the world. Her poignant reflections help answer the questions: • How do you cope when life lies in pieces around you? • How do you begin to rebuild in the face of all that has been lost? • How do you commemorate the past while creating space for your future? Ann's journey parallels the evolution of Ground Zero from a place of death and destruction to the moving Memorial Plaza today-and is a beautiful testament to the resilience of a woman, a family, and a nation.

Book Bubbles from Pieces Falling

When there seemed to be no way

When Bruce died in the line of duty on September 11, 2001, our daughters were 14 and 17 years old. One the many thoughts we experienced at that time was what will happen when they get married? It wasn't an immediate concern but it was there. When the time came God showed us the way. Each of my daughters handled it differently. Today marks 16 years since Emily and Scott's wedding. Happy Anniversary.

and yet again

Each year just about this time, mid July, the email arrives. Then a few days later a paper copy arrives in the mail. Yesterday right on schedule that yearly email announcing the National September 11th Memorial Museum's plans for September 11, 2022 arrived. This year there will be an in person ceremony on Sunday September 11. I won't be attending because this year I will be in Beaufort, SC participating in a community service to honor first responders.

Family vacation

When my girls were little, our family vacations weren't fancy but they were adventures. Whether it was the five-week camping trip from NY to Colorado or the houseboat trip up the Champlain Canal, family vacation was a special time to explore new places and enjoy time together. Much as changed since those family vacations with Bruce, but I am grateful that my girls, their guys and the littles aka my grandkids still try to vacation together. There is no better time than time spent together.

Twenty years

May 30, 2022 will mark twenty years since the recovery mission after the September 11, 2001 attacks ended - eight months and nineteen days after the towers fell. The National September 11th Museum and Memorial will host a ceremony to commemorate and honor the efforts of all who worked and volunteered during those 261 days. I would personally like to say thank you to the FDNY, NYPD, PAPD, steel workers, FBI, sanitation workers and thousands of volunteers. Thank you. Well done.

A time for everything...

April 29, 2022 marks 13 years since I had the medi-port removed. Thirteen years of being cancer free. Thirteen years ago, it was a day to celebrate that I no longer needed the port and a day to remember the journey to get to that point. But today as I think back I am ever grateful to my doctors, my friends and my faith that got me through my cancer journey. I am also glad that a even more special memory can be added to April 29 - it is my grandson's birthday and this year he turns seven. There truly is a time for everything under the sun.

Earth Day

I love observing nature transition from Winter to Spring. First the flowering trees bloom as the bigger trees start to gain their leaves. There is a saying that spring never skips its turn. Spring always gives me such a sense of hope. I felt that same sense of hope that sense of life when the trees were moved to the national September 11th Memorial.

Friendship through volunteering

Developing our friendships outside of the time we spent volunteering together is such a blessing. During the first year of the pandemic (2021) we had a weekly Zoom meeting where we discussed everything and anything. We laughed, we cried, we worried, we wondered that scheduled time was a lifeline during the uncertainty of 2021. Tomorrow we are actually doing a be a tourist in our own city adventure followed by lunch - I am so looking for to being with my fellow docents in person.

Such a bizarre time

The recovering of Bruce's body six months after the collapse the Twin Towers was a bizarre and painful time. My daughters and I have spoken about whether accepting the invitation to go to Paris was the right thing to do. So much of that first year after Bruce's line-of-duty death was experienced in a fog - on auto-pilot. I do believe that through it all I never compromised my core believes.

Memorial helmet

On Monday March 14, 2022, the apartment I shared with my daughter, Emily, and son-in-law, Scott was destroyed in a fire in Brooklyn. If you live in NYC you may have seen that five alarm fire reported on the evening news. Monday night, Emily and Scott were able to go into the building with a Fire Marshall to retrieve medications and important papers. Emily grabbed her fire proof box and her daddy's memorial helmet that is mentioned in the excerpt of Pieces Falling:navigating 9/11 with faith, family and the FDNY featured in the bubble.

A dog named Van Hine

March 17, 2022 Last evening I had another FaceBook message from Ryan to tell me that Van Hine, the dog, recently passed away. He served as a TSA dog and then a Texas State Trooper drug dog. Whenever I am on the National September Memorial Plaza or in an airport and see working dogs a smile comes to my face as I think of Van Hine. I know those smiles will continue.

Japan 3/11

Loss is loss, whether it is a family member or a home. Loss is universal, as is hope.  On 3/11/11 a record 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the Pacific Ocean caused a deadly tsunami that took the lives of nearly 20,000 people with over 6,000 injured and at least 2,500 people missing. In 2012, I had the honor of joining a team from Mount Sinai to travel to Japan with one simple mission - to share hope. That first trip, and the others that have followed, have always reminded me that God doesn’t waste anything - if we are willing, He will use our story to encourage others. Our tragedies may have been different, but experiencing loss of any kind ties us together. Today I am continuing to hold the people of Japan in my heart as they remember those whose lives were irrevocably changed on 3/11/11.

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