For me, Jackson’s song stands out among top branded works on 9/11/2001

New York City; Spring, 2001. Photo by Jen Day-Thompson
New York City; Spring, 2001. Photo by Jen Day-Thompson

It’s not surprising that the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001 inspired art in different genres. One of the most significant genres is the music that tragic day produced. For my generation, and those younger, 9/11 was perceived in a manner similar to the way my grandparents and parents responded to Pearl Harbor Day observed on December 7. Some songs touch us more than others.

For me, Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?” stands out among songs from top brands. The lyrics address reactions in a country where we are diverse yet united even today as divisiveness pours from media and the political class. Jackson’s song touches on one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible, taken from the first book of Corinthians.

Although Jackson’s song is classified as country, its appeal is universal.

My daughters who perform and record as indies also recorded a song in response to 9/11, honoring first responders and the military. It’s personal. My sister-in-law, Jan Day Plowden, wrote the song as her son served in the wars that followed the attacks. Jan had seen a lot of anti-American news reportage, including scenes of people stomping on and burning the US flag. Her song, “We Are America“, is the result of that experience.

Shortly before 9/11, my older daughter Jennifer traveled to New York City to perform with her orchestra at Carnegie Hall. She snapped a photo from a harbor cruise, and every time I see the photo, I am reminded of the lives lost months later.

Most of us, I think, remember where we were on 9/11/2001. The day had a profound impact on all of us, in terms of liberty and resources. It’s a reminder that although we are technically the freest people on the planet, perhaps in all of history, freedom is a value that warrants safeguarding and treasuring.

The Daily Caller culled ten of the most well known songs about 9/11; you can see the videos there.

In Alan Jackson’s iconic song, the lyrics echo the Bible passage:

“But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

And the greatest is love
And the greatest is love.”

I don’t know a more universal and worthier statement than that.

(Kay B. Day/Sept. 11, 2019)

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