Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Finding Solace In Springsteen After 9/11

Youth Journalism International writers trying to come to grips with the terror attacks a decade ago found some solace in an album released in 2002 by rocker Bruce Springsteen.

Jesse Young called Springsteen’s The Rising “one of the most vital, miraculous American rock albums” shortly after its release almost a decade ago.

In the record, Springsteen found ways to deal with 9/11 by telling of “loss, redemption, faith, and the almighty spirit of rock ‘n’ roll,” Young wrote.

“The men and women who inhabit The Rising are staggering” from the ache caused by the attacks, Young wrote. “Still, even in their depths of their pain, they never abandon hope itself; a guarded optimism sustains the album, undercutting the darker moments it often probes.”

That resonated with many young people searching for answers after 9/11.

For Joe Battista, a New Jersey teen, what he saw on September 11, 2001 “will never leave me.”

I walked outside the door of my school and watched the flames from the World Trade Center with my own eyes from just two miles away.

It was a terrible sight.

And on top of that, I knew my father worked only two blocks away from the Twin Towers .

Everything turned out OK with my family.

But it was not the same anymore, something was missing.

That feeling stayed with me until I started to put The Rising and September 11 together.

Whenever I felt like a good cry, I would sit at my computer, put on my headphones and listen to it.

If I cried, I cried.

That hole that I felt was filled with the music.

For Battista, The Rising “made me feel safe and in control.”

Young wrote that the album’s closing and opening songs include calls to “rise up.”

“It’s a theme that traces its way throughout the album, and forms the core of Springsteen’s gospel,” Young wrote. “Even if this album alone isn’t enough to affect the healing it was meant to, it stands as resounding proof that rock ‘n’ roll still has a meaningful place in our world.

This is music that makes me glad to be alive, and if that isn’t rock ‘n’ roll’s job, I don’t know what is.”

Click here to read Young’s review.

Click here to read Battista’s piece.

Also see Kyle Pucciarello’s review of Springsteen’s March 2003 concert in Atlantic City.

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