Bruce Springsteen delivers moving performance at 9/11 Memorial
Bruce Springsteen performed in World Trade Center plaza on Saturday at a memorial to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Springsteen chose to play “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” a song from his latest album, Letter to you. Springsteen accompanied himself by guitar and harmonica. After he performed the song, the families of the victims continued to read the names of the deceased, a tradition that began on the first anniversary of September 11.
President Joe Biden and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also attended the ceremony. Biden, who will also be visiting the other sites of the attacks in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon, did not speak. Instead, the White House released a video Friday, in which Biden paid tribute to the victims and their families. “It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, and these commemorations bring everything back painfully, like you just heard the news a few seconds ago,” Biden said in the clip. “And so on this day, Jill and I hold you close to our hearts and send you our love.”
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Springsteen responded to the grief felt by the country with his acclaimed 2002 album The climb. The album features the title track, “Mary’s Place”, “Lonesome Day”, “Countin ‘on a Miracle”, “My City of Ruins” and “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day”. “The Rising” was included in Springsteen’s one-man show on Broadway.
A performance of “My City of Ruins” was included on the September 21, 2001 show America: A Tribute to Heroes, with members of the E Street Band. “The air was very charged,” said Layonne Holmes, who performed with Springsteen, recently at the Asbury Park Press. “People were aware of the gravity of the whole situation and for us in particular because we were the first to play. I remember the set was dark and there were all these candles and the cameras and then we were on. “
“The Rising” is the story of firefighters who climbed the stars of the Twin Towers to save all they could, but the lyrics also reflect their ascension to heaven. “One of the most powerful images of the 11 I had read in the newspaper, some of the people going down were talking about the rescuers going up,” Springsteen said on Night line after The climb has been freed. “The idea of these guys going up the stairs, up the stairs, up, up. I mean you could go up a smoky staircase; you could be in the afterlife, move on.”
Springsteen’s performance on Saturday received positive reviews on Twitter. “That sad sound of a lonely musical instrument playing while names read in New York # 911Anniversary is absolutely haunting. Thank you, Bruce Springsteen,” a fan wrote. “I cried at that time,” another wrote.