Written by Tanya Clark
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Patriot Day. In 2002 President George W. Bush declared September 11 “Patriot Day” as a way to honor the 2,977 individuals who lost their lives in the US terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
On that day the largest act of terrorism on US soil occurred in New York, Washington DC, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The collective events of that day are referred to as “9-11.”
On that autumn morning 15 years ago, just as the workday was getting started for most Americans, terrorists forcibly took control of four US commercial aircraft. The hijackers intended to fly the planes into heavily populated buildings, causing maximum destruction and loss of life.
The buildings were not chosen on a whim. The Pentagon and the Twin Towers were widely recognized symbols of American identity and pride. The terrorists sought to destroy structures that held significant meaning and status for America and the world.
Three planes hit their targets. All souls on the fourth plane perished when the aircraft crashed into an isolated Shanksville, Pennsylvania field.
How can you can observe Patriot Day? There are several things you, and your family, can do to honor the memory of those who perished on September 11, 2001.
On Sunday morning take a few moments to reflect on the significance and the ramifications of 9-11. 9-11 has impacted everyone’s life in some way large or small. The first plane crashed at 8:46am EST. On Patriot Day it is customary to observe a moment of silence at that time in order to honor the nearly 3,000 individuals who lost their lives that day.
If you wish to take a more active role in remembering 9/11, most communities hold 9-11 remembrance services.
And don’t forget to fly your flag! President Bush specified that on Patriot Day the US flag be flown on all American homes, at the White House, and on all US government buildings throughout the world. If possible, the flags are to be flown at half-staff.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind as you commemorate Patriot Day. While it is a day of national remembrance, it’s not a federal holiday thus businesses and schools remain open. Also, Patriot Day is not to be confused with Patriot’s, aka Patriots, Day. That special day commemorates the first two battles of the American Revolutionary War.
If you’d like more information about the national tragedy that led to Patriot Day, the website www.911memorial.org is a great place to start. There you’ll find resources on how to participate in Patriot Day as well as information on the 9-11 Museum and the memorial sites at Ground Zero and in Pennsylvania.
Country music and patriotism have always gone hand in hand. Whether we are in good times of peace, or hard times or war, country music anthems have transcended through decades, proclaiming the pride of our country to their fans. As a result, many country artists decided to write songs about the tragedy, here are a few songs/performances that came as a result of that dreadful day.
During his performance on The Today Show back in 2006, Alan Jackson dedicated his song “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” to those who died on that fateful September day. “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” was the lead single on Jackson’s 10th album, Drive, which was released in 2002. The song was written by Jackson himself, and released less than a month after the attacks on November 7, 2001.
Hank Williams Jr.’s “America Will Survive“ is a rewritten version of the original “Country Boy Can Survive“, and topped the Billboard Country Chart at #45 after its patriotic re-write.
Lee Greenwood has earned a handful #1 singles throughout his country music career, but no song in the singer’s long list of hits has been as culturally significant as his Top 10 patriotic anthem, ‘God Bless the USA.’
In late 2001, shortly after 9/11, Toby was moved to write the powerful patriotic hit, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)”. The song was released in early 2002 as the lead single from his album, Unleashed. The emotional song topped the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart, and hit the #24 spot on the U.S. Hot 100 chart. Watch Toby’s moving performance with special guest…Trace Adkins!
The NFL Sunday night opening game after the attack on 9/11, Lady Antebellum sang a powerful rendition of the National Anthem along with Robert Deniro opening, Taps, and FDNY Pipes & Drum, all paying tribute to New York that night.
Natalie Stovall does a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace live on the Bobby Bones Show last year in honor of our amazing country and to remember those we lost on that horrific day back on September 11th. This one is for you, America!!
Never Forget. Remembering 911. God Bless The U.S.A.