Hey guys! In POD, we had to do a project about analyzing a song with some sort of political issue. I chose “Where Were You” by Alan Jackson. Now, my writing is very opinionated and I have a distinct style, so if something offends you, I don’t want to hear it. ALSO, DO NOT PLAGIARIZE MY WORK!
Where were you when the world stopped turnin’
That September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or workin’ on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?
I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you
The diff’rence in Iraq and Iran
We’ve all heard this song. In fact, I’m sure you were singing along right to the melody and tone of Alan Jackson. So, where were you that September day? I personally was trying to survive my premature body, but hey, the focus is on you. So where were you? Take a moment to reflect. Think about what could’ve happened to you if you were at the towers the moment of that attack. Oof, you and I are pretty lucky, aye? Why yes we are.
Alan Jackson is one of the greatest country music stars of all time. Not only does he have a great love for Jack Daniels, he also has many hit songs and albums. Some of these include “Remember When”, “Gone Country”, “Drive”, “Tall Tall Trees”, “Chattahoochee”, “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow”, and “Livin’ On Love”. With these great hits, Jackson has won many awards including two Grammys, 18 ACM awards, and 16 CMA awards. He is one successful man. Now, if you have ever seen Alan Jackson, you would know he is notorious for his cowboy hat. That hat wasn’t originally apart of his wardrobe, he wears it to cover a scar.
Alan was born in the heart of Newnan, Georgia in 1958. He began performing in 1983. The song I chose was “Where Were You”. It was published in 2002 on the “Drive” album — one of my favorites. My song focuses on the event of 9/11. 9/11 was one of the most tragic terrorist attacks in the history of the United States. There hasn’t really been anything like it since.
If you aren’t familiar with 9/11 then are you a true American citizen? I guess I could give you a little history first, just in case. 9/11 was a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group known as Al-Qaeda. The attacks killed 2,996 people and injured over 6,000. Over 400 law enforcement officers, military personnel, and firefighter members died. The mass construction caused $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. The four coordinated attacks occurred on four different planes with four different locations. These planes were hijacked by 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists. And yes, they are TERRORISTS. The first plane crashed into the North Tower at 08:46. This tower ended up burning for 102 minutes and collapsed at 10:28. The second plane crashed into the South Tower at 09:03. It burned for 56 minutes and collapsed at 09:59. The third plane crashed into the Pentagon at 09:37. And last but not least, the fourth plane crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The passengers on this plane actually tried to seize control of the plane and even though they did, they all died as they plummeted to their death. Most of the people that died during the 9/11 attacks have not been identified. Only bits and pieces of most of the bodies have been found. Artifacts from the most tragic day in US history are still being found today.
So, who the hun was the leader of the sons-of-b****** who caused a brutal bloodshed on OUR American soils plus many other mass casualties around the world? You know him, we all do. That’s right. Osama Bin Ladan. Or, if you wanna be technical, Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden. Yeah, I know, sounds like a terrorist to me too. Anyways, Bin Ladan hated the US. He was motivated by a belief that U.S. foreign policy has oppressed, killed, or otherwise harmed Muslims in the Middle East. “We are free…and we want to regain freedom in our nation. As you undermine our security, we undermine yours.” Are you wondering who said that? Mhm. Osama. What a prick. Osama wanted more of a military role. So, as I’m sure you can guess, this was how Al-Qaeda was started in August of 1988. Al-Qaeda was known for plotting attacks on US soils, it was just a matter of time before Osama and his army would. SMH.
So, what exactly did the US do after the attacks of September 11th?? Well for one, the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 was passed. This gave law enforcement the power to search without a warrant. In 2002, the Information Awareness Office was created. This creation lead to the development of the Total Information Awareness, which in 2003, was amended to the Terrorist Information Awareness. This program had the intent of creating programs that could process large amounts of information and also the intent of monitoring behavior.
The citizens of New York showed their gratitude to law enforcement and firefighters by wearing hats and shirts that displayed FDNY and NYPD. There was also a surge of patriotism displayed with flags popping up everywhere. The flag flying above the rubble was an act of determination, which became a symbol of our country’s recovery. Sadly, even with all the patriotism displayed, there were lots of hate crimes associated with “middle eastern looking” people.
As far as the rubble goes, most victims were pulverized or incinerated during the attack. In fact, there were still human flesh fragments found on surrounding buildings five years after the attack. Unfortunately, most bodies were not found. The cleanup of the rubble took over six months to complete. Most rescue workers and volunteers developed major respiratory problems from the harmful debris present in the air. They still have respiratory problems today.
So, could you even imagine being at the World Trade Center that day? Would you have survived and helped others? Or would you have died without being able to do anything about it? It’s crazy to think about. It really is. America will never ever forget what Al-Qaeda did to us. America will never forget how many people we lost. I am forever grateful for the country I live in and I will proudly stand up with my hand on my heart and say the Pledge of Allegiance and I will always stand for the anthem. I will fly my flag high and proud. After all, the American flag does not fly because of the wind. It flies from the last breath of our military personnel, law enforcement members, and firefighters who have died serving our country. Count your blessings everyone. Call your family and tell them you love them. Say hi to a stranger on the street. Do something to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Life is to short to play it safe. Express your freedoms and be grateful we live in a country as strong as we are with all the freedoms we have. With that being said, in the words of Alan Jackson, “Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us, and the greatest is love.”