For the United States, the events of September 11, 2001, and the post-9/11 developments arc full of historical drama. In The 9/11 Commission Report, the summary of the drama is stark: 'On September 11, the nation suffered the largest loss of life-2,973-- on its soil as a result of hostile attack in its history.' This description is usually accompanied by countless stories and mini- histories involving persons, families, workers. Citizens of the U.S. And of other nations too, near and far from New York and Washington, DC, found their comings and goings full of new meaning.
Union Square had become a public site for families and friends of the dead, grieving their losses or seeking the missing by posting photos, laments, poems, prayers. They also scrawled their epithets of rage. The unity of work and remembrance, forged amid unfolding trauma, reminded me of the families of the disappeared I had seen in offices in Latin America. These, too, were public sites with walls of hastily posted family photos, pinned-up poems, prayers, and sorrow-songs for their missing. Those offices were in places like Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and elsewhere, but they had displayed the same resilience of humanity amid massive sorrow that I saw in New York City as it grieved its dead and missing.
Beyond the sorrows of the day, which victims' families above all carry with them to this day, there were many other aspects of 9/1-1 as a historic moment. By 'luistoric' I am referring to the plethora of recountable events, some dramatic in nature, some less so, but all of which make up describable (and often debatable) activities and processes surrounding 9 / 11. Among them are such matters as the effects on New York City's urban architecture and air quality, and new challenges posed to urban living. Victims' families had to be compensated, and debates raged about which funds should be used (federal, state, city) to bring relief, and how large the grants should be.
National and international air travel was immediately suspended, and, when it was restored, passengers would experience a whole new set of travel rituals and security precautions. The nation's economy trembled, symbolized by the closing of financial markets for a five- to six day period. New budget priorities emerged featuring altered funding patterns as enormous sums went to surveillance and military operations in the United States. War -- advocated by many and protested by many-became a ubiquitous public concern as the Bush regime moved abroad militarily (first in Afghanistan and later in Iraq), allegedly to retaliate for the 9/11 attacks and to counter the threat of terrorism in general.
Almost all freedom struggles tap into some musical roots. For example, there are the mountain music's of Appalachian miners, and the ballads of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen that have given voice to the American artistic visions of Walt Whitman and often give voice to those left behind. 41 U2 of Ireland, the Asian-Dub Foundation emergent from Asian-American traditions, KRSI and Dead Presidents from the urban USA, Bright Eyes out of the U.S. Midwest, Ozoinatli and Ricanstruction from U.S.L.atino/a syncretic culture, Nigeria's Fela Kuti, South Africa's Mzwaki Mbuli and Lucky Dubc, Zaire's Thomas Mapfumo, China's Cui Jian of the Tiananmen Square movement years -these are just a few examples of contemporary artists who dream artfully and sustain revolutionary expectation.
What we are about to discuss in this paper is a knee-jerk reaction to the terrible events of 9/11, not different from the songs of redemption and freedom sung by the above mentioned artists, in troubled times. I have chosen these songs due to the emotions they evoke.
Twin Towers - Play List
1. Empty Sky - Bruce Springsteen (2002)
For followers of Bruce Springsteen's E. Street Band glory days, the boss's new album, The Rising, ought to be an all-American treat. Springsteen along with his band rock out enough old-school rock to make Nixon roll over in his grave. "Into the Fire," which is one of the many tracks which call upon 9/11, begins with a washy intro ("The sky was falling and streaked with blood") however it eventually builds into a towering climax ("May your strength give us strength/May your faith give us faith").
A few of the 9/11 imagery revealed through the lyrics, is too…