September 11, 2001 was a saddening day for people across the country. Years later, many remember exactly what they were doing and where they were when they heard the tragic news.
During a performance on The Today Show in 2006, Alan Jackson dedicated his song “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” to those who died on that fateful September day:
“I’d like to do this song especially for all the people that died five years ago, the policemen, the firemen, the civilians, Flight 93, and the Pentagon.”
“Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” was the lead single on Jackson’s tenth album Drive, which was released in 2002. The song was written entirely by Jackson, and was released less than two months after the attacks on November 7, 2001.
Although the song was a major success and topped the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for five weeks, Jackson had been hesitant to release it.
“I thought we’d perform it for a little while and then it would just go away, you know, cause I didn’t feel like people would want to keep thinking about that,” Jackson said in an interview on his official YouTube channel.
But the song has stuck with the nation as one that captures the emotions associated with 9/11:
“I mean even today I see people waiting on that song in the crowd. Some places they’ll be on their feet several minutes after you finish the song.”
When Jackson performed the song on The Today Show he often had to close his eyes to fight back his tears. The audience, with firemen and military members in their presence, waved American flags back and forth like lighters at a concert.
Jackson’s song truly represents the feelings that come to many Americans’ minds every September 11 that passes by.