Seven years ago today tragedy struck the United States of America as an attempt to tarnish the very freedoms we treasure. Freedom in the US, I think, meant something very different after that day. And, that day is forever cemented in my mind. I don’t know if there is person in this country that doesn’t remember what they were doing on the day the world changed.
I had just moved to Chicago about two weeks prior to 9/11, and it so happened to be the start of my first job here – what a way to start a new job. I hadn’t quite finished my Master of Music degree, but I was almost done, and commuted to Cleveland to take lessons eventually finishing that Fall semester. I came to Chicago to be with my wife, who was forced to come back to her hometown to take care of a loved one that passed away within weeks after 9/11.
On that fateful day, I remember my wife, at the time my girlfriend, waking me from sleeping to tell me a plane had struck the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV and within minutes the second plane struck, followed by more and more tragedy. I don’t need to recap everything, after all, we remember.
It is reminder to all of us just how cruel we are toward each other, and how our fundamental belief in the freedoms we cherish as men and women were challenged. They continue to be challenged. It is a cruel reminder of just how unique this country is to the rest of the world. Not that other countries cherish freedom less, but we lead the way. We continue to lead the way. Even after all the mistakes this country continues to make treating people poorly – Blacks, Latinos, Asians, women, etc. – we still have it within us to change. If you don’t believe that is true, then read a US history book. Change continues…
I dedicate this post to the men and women that lost there lives 7 years ago today, and to the families that had to pick themselves up afterwards. I also pay tribute to the people that fight for our freedoms – soldiers of past and present. Thank you for all your dedication.
Since this is a music blog, I feel the need to include a video of Ray Charles (RIP good man!) singing America the Beautiful.