Wednesday, September 12, 2012
I played my song "The Light of New York City" at a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony last night.
At first I was a little concerned if the song was appropriate, because really it's a song about me and what New York City has meant to me over the years, not about 9/11. I spoke a few words before playing the song, dedicating it to those who keep New York safe for the people who come here to pursue our dreams, and in memory of those lost on 9/11.
Then I got to the line, "So I left the city of all smarm and no charm, for the city of tragedies and miracles."
As I sang this line, I realized that this was a direct reference to 9/11, and welled up with the chills.
Because, of course, 9/11 is the tragedy I was most immediately referring to.
How did I forget that I referenced 9/11 in the song?
"The city of tragedies and miracles."
The first word I use to describe this place, even.
Is it because it is so embedded in today's New York that we almost don't notice it until it is pointed out, like a scar on your face that you stop seeing after awhile?
At some point in the evening, the minister (the ceremony was at a church) said, "New York has never been the same after 9/11." A tragic day where friends and family members were lost to terrifying deaths.
Yet, the city buzzes on. People still come here to pursue their dreams, as they have for generations. People work on Wall Street, or in fashion, or selling real estate, or in restaurants, or in one of the countless other industries here. They eat, drink, dance, go to Broadway musicals, and concerts. Tourists come from all over the world to see the sights. Lovers take romantic paddle boat rides through Central Park. Taxis maniacally weave through traffic as horns honk. People live, love, and die.
But 9/11 is always here with us. And when we stop to think about it, we may realize that it is closer than we want it to be.
After many songs and poems had been offered by the artists who came to the ceremony, it was time to pray.
I prayed for those who were lost, and I prayed for the comfort of their families.
And then a prayer came over me, and my heart flooded with it.
"Please God...let nothing like this happen again."