One week after the September 11th attacks, the air in New York City was still poisoned, the sickening smell of the still-burning ruins of the World Trade Center drifting up through Manhattan’s streets and cursing us with coughs and cancers. The stench was a constant reminder that the evil dart of the planes into the towers, the vanishing of the buildings into clouds of their own dust, and the thousands of lives cut short by terrorists were not nightmares.
This was reality.
Also one week after the September 11th attacks, a Grammy-winning American songstress with a voice that tilted toward the miraculous announced that she would release a hit single from a decade earlier and donate all of the proceeds to the New York Firefighters 9/11 Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Fraternal Order of Police.
The singer was Whitney Houston. The song was our national anthem. And