10 Years Out: September 11

Editor’s Note: This is repost of an item that previously appeared on 30 Days Out.

The day seems like a blur … the first word from a counter person at Starbucks, tuning in the car radio where the usually placid voices were now frantic, stunned faces in front of a conference room TV.  Even thousands of miles away, you could feel the dread and terror so many experienced that day in the streets of Manhattan.

Were you sad for the people who died?  That would come later.  That moment, when I stood watching the towers crumble on TV and later that night, seeing the solemn newscasters with a burning NYC skyline as the backdrop, the first thing I felt was fear.  Later, as the awful truth unfolded live in the never-ending news cycle, that gave way to a deep sadness.

Every day Americans struggle with the concept of freedom.  What does this freedom allow us to do?  Can we do as much or as little as we want, can we go anywhere or stay in one place, can we choose a path for our own lives?  Can we mistrust our neighbor, hate our President or be afraid of that man walking down the street who may be different than us in some way?  The answer is yes.  With freedom, you get back what you put in.

Today is a day worth remembering because it’s marked with pain, with loss, with sadness, with fear.  But I can remember also courage, strength and kindness.  Your feelings about this day may be different than mine, your memory may tell you something else completely.  You can choose to remember or choose to forget.  You can flip this coin into the air and let it fall like debris in the streets.  Which side comes up, that depends on you.

MP3: “Lonesome Day” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

MP3: “Boeing 737″ by the Low Anthem

MP3: “Let’s Roll” by Neil Young

MP3: “Freedom” (live) by Paul McCartney

MP3: “Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze” (live at Woodstock) by Jimi Hendrix

MP3: “Do You Remember the Americans” (alternate track) by Manassas

MP3: “Freedom” by Richie Havens (2009 version)

MP3: “Simple Song Of Freedom” by Tim Hardin (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Every Hand In The Land” by Arlo Guthrie (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “I Shall Be Free” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Masters Of War” by Pearl Jam (live)

MP3: “American Tune” by Paul Simon

MP3: “America, Fuck Yeah”  by Team America, South Park or whatever

MP3: “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

MP3: “Walk On” by U2

MP3: “Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream” by Johnny Cash

MP3: “Blowin’ In The Wind” (live, 1963) by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Daylight Again/Find The Cost Of Freedom” by Crosby, Stills & Nash

YouTube: U2 Super Bowl halftime show, 9/11 tribute (2002)

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