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Bruce Springsteen Sings “I’ll See You in My Dreams” at September 11 Service

September 11, 2021

Bruce Springsteen performs during a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at a September 11 Service to sing “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” the closing song on his 2020 album Letter to You. Hauntingly beautiful, you can watch a video below.

“May God bless our fallen brothers and sisters, their families, their friends and their loved ones,” Springsteen said in his remarks.

Springsteen’s 2002 album The Rising references those events, and his Grammy winning song of the same name honors the moment in NYC where first responders rushed up the stairs while office workers sped down. He celebrates those hardworking men and women who rise to the occasion.

On the anniversary in 2021, President Obama shared this message: “Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11,” President Obama said.

Here’s words on the current occasion from former President Bush: “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home, “he said. “But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

President Biden speaks on the occasion above, and here’s another experience, this one from Steve Buschemi below:: 

And here’s my experience.

As a college teacher, and as the mother of a college student, it’s hard for me to imagine that these young people have no memory of what that time was like. They only know the necessary after-math — 20 years of war in Afghanistan in attempts to extricate the terrorists responsible.  They may also know of the prison in Guantanamo, where innocent people were waterboarded and more.

On that Tuesday, September 11, 2001, it was sunny here in Ventura, and I called my dad to see if he wanted to help me paint my house before I headed to the college for work. He demurred, and then he called me back to say yes, he’d be over as soon as he could, that he loved me, and then he told me about what had just occurred in New York City. We shared our concerns about friends of mine who live in NYC and work for the airlines; fortunately, they were not on those flights or in the buildings.

At the paint store, the news was on, and I quickly turned away from the morbid sight. I have not watched video of the attack since, avoiding it as best I can. 

That Thursday, I wrote the poem below which was published in the October 2001 issue of Art/Life and featured in the local newspaper on the 10 year anniversary of the attack. For the broadside, I used a “bandaid” to attach the ziplock “evidence” bag which contained shredded newspaper with news of that day as well as the poem which had burned edges. 

Where were you? What do you remember? 



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