November 12, 2010
The tragic day of September 11, 2001 is a day that imprinted in America’s memory
forever. It could be in the history books, and taught in history class for our children to hear. 9/11
was the day that started a decade of war on terrorism, hate, and depression. The world reacted in
violence and terror. Also brought a new sense of patriotism to our country (Grier). In Alan
Jackson’s song, “Where were you (When the world stopped turning)”, he relives the moment all
people in America saw as they watched the buildings fall to rumble. Alan Jackson wrote this
song as a tribute to the 9/11 attacks and the lives lost from the attacks. He starts the song in a sort
of somber way asking one question, “Where were you?”
“Out in the yard with your wife and children, working on some stage in LA” (Jackson),
asking where were you when the “world stopped turning”. Easily, anyone could relive that
moment in their head of where they were went the first plane went into the World Trade Center
at 8:46 A.M. All they would have to do is listen to Alan Jackson’s words as he sings them. As he
sings this song, visual images come into your head and you begin to make a connection to what
you were doing when the first plane hit the Twin Towers. The plane hit on the North side of the
tower in Lower Manhattan. The second plane hit at 9:03 A.M. against the South tower. There
were four planes in all that hit and killed innocent bi-standards (A14+). This song visuals what
we were doing for us, and how we felt.
“Did you burst out in pride for the red white and blue” (Jackson) speaks to America and
its pride in our country. How we got a new pride in our country because of the Twin Tower
attacks. We are fighting a war on terrorism now, and we are continually fighting for what
happened on that day. This happened in 2001, we still have troops fighting for our country in
Iraq and Afghanistan. 5, 778 casualties have passed away since September 9,
2001(http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/). Father’s and Mother’s of children who
sacrificed their lives to protect our country. Men and women we don’t know, dying for the war
on terrorism after almost a decade. We should hold onto our pride, tight, like the people who
fight for our country.
We feel a sense of pride in our country if our brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, or
father are fighting or did fight in this never ending battle. This song speaks to our decade of how
we felt, how we reacted and how we still feel about the Twin Tower attacks. We reacted in
anger, not only at ourselves, but we blamed the big man upstairs, God. People questioned,
“Where was God” the day the world came to a standstill. It was a matter of 17 minutes in which
the towers were hit, and started to spiral to the ground. They collapsed 90 minutes after they
were hit, and with all those innocent people inside them. Frustration, anger, depression and
desperation set in for America as we watched our country be torn apart by this act of hatred
towards our country. Most people didn’t understand why anyone would want to do that vulgar
act and slaughter thousands of people.
Alan Jackson talks about the frustration of most people by singing “Did you look up to
heaven for some kind of answer” (Jackson). Most people did look up to heaven, some in
frustration and anger, others for prayer and help from Him. They wondered why God wasn’t
protecting them and why most of them had to feel the pain from the deaths of their beloved
Really almost no one was able to “survive” this deadly attack that surpassed the deceased
rate in Pearl Harbor in 1941. There are some humans that still haven’t “survived” this tragic
event. More than 2,600 people died at the World Trade Center; 125 died at the Pentagon; 256
died on the four planes (A14+). So many people died in a matter of an hour. Alan Jackson sings once
again to this pain and anger and sadness of our nation “Did you stand there in shock at the site of that
black smoke rising against that blue sky, did you shout out in anger in fear for your neighbor or
did you just sit down and cry”. What more could speak to the hearts of the terrified humans who
watched on Morris Street then what Alan Jackson sings” Did you stand there in chock at the site
of that black smoke rising against that blue sky” (Jackson). How many people sat and watched
on TV the horror of the World Trade Center attacks, and how many didn’t even know what to
think because it all happened so fast. “Did you shout out in anger in fear for your neighbor”
(Jackson), some people didn’t know which direction to go, or who to tell. Some called their
loved ones and told them they loved them or some took their children out of school just so they
could see their smiling faces. Some just looked at themselves and “to what really matters”
This event changed our nation, not for the better in some ways. We ended up fighting a
war that could never be won even some Americans feel that having troops over there is pointless.
Could Alan Jackson be a spokesperson for the decade and write a song that “really matters”
(Jackson)? He talks to almost every American at one point or another in this song. Asking them
their next move, and what they are doing. Alan Jackson sings “Faith hope and love are some
good things he gave us and the greatest is love” (Jackson). Love is a term used as a word used to
show someone you care about them. The world is in need of “faith, hope and love” (Jackson)
because of the 9/11 attacks.
As the weeks went on after the Twin Tower attacks, listening to the news, the town of
New York City was somber and desolate in feeling. I remember one event in which an elderly
woman was walking out of the World Trade Center, and as she was walking down the steps,
rumble fell on her and she instantly died. That image was striking, painfully, and most of all
graphic. Maybe people experienced events from the Trade Center attacks that were much more
intense and crude. Listening to Alan Jackson’s tribute he sings “Did you rejoice for the people
who walked from the rubble and sob for the ones left below” (Jackson), that image comes into
As the days pass after September 11, 2001 firefighters, police men, and even volunteers
helped to look for justice for the families of the loved ones who could be trapped, died, or
Faces of the Fallen: Iraq and Afghanistan Casualties | Washingtonpost.com." Washington Post -
Politics, National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - Washingtonpost.com. 2010. Web.
18 Nov. 2010. <http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/>.
Grier, Peter. "The New Normal." Christian Science Monitor. Oct. 11 2001: n.p. SIRS Researcher.
Web. 12 Nov 2010.
Unknown. "Excerpts from the Report of the Sept. 11 Commission: 'A Unity of..." New York Times
(New York, NY). 23 Jul 2004: A14+. SIRS Researcher. Web. 18 Nov 2010.