“The Voices of Inspiration: A Universal Hug” concert at the Beacon Theater was a success. We now had original film footage of the concert, valuable interviews, original music by talented artists and a unique story of the 9/11 experiences. The next logical step was to put it together and produce Rick’s then original concept, the Docu-Concert.
It’s title: The Voices of Inspiration: A Universal Hug Thank You Concert for 9/11 The Rescue and Recovery Workers.
For several weeks after the concert, Rick edited together the interviews from Ground Zero, with the music and stories by Phoebe, Beth and Bar, set to my voice-overs. There was footage of Bill and me walking through Ground Zero the night we’d met him. There was footage of Delores Holmes singing ‘Dig All Night’ to open the show. There was footage of Bill calling everyone up on stage. There was footage of me crying as I spoke at the Last Roll Call. Voices of Inspiration A Thank You Concert told the story of the rescue and recovery workers and what we had seen. We had done it.
We shopped the one-hour show to several of the New York television stations with Channel 9, WWOR-TV, choosing to air it as their tribute highlight to the one-year anniversary of 9/11. It aired at 12 noon and 8pm on September 11, 2002. They titled their media effort for the first anniversary A New Day Dawning. The positive philosophy from the station’s administration was a surprise to me but was also directly in line with how I saw things. It was a perfect match.
As August came to a close and the first anniversary of 9/11 drew near, I was ready to stop. It had been a manic and amazing year, but now it was time to be quiet and still. I needed to regroup, collect my little kids, and just be us again. I had done my best; I had learned a ton. I needed to settle down and just ‘be’.
I know that family and friends judged me for what I’d chosen to do that first year. People thought I should be staying home with my children and attending to the daily life of being a new widow. But I couldn’t sit still. Too much was happening. I was so open to everything. It was a surreal and extraordinary time.
People thought I was crazy to be running a business, producing concerts and taking care of three traumatized children. But I had so much energy I was able to do both. And I did them well. A higher power was driving me. I did not neglect my children. Not only were they well cared for, they were given a new family with the Embry-Doubtfires. They were shown that even in the saddest tragedies there are beautiful silver linings to be found. These projects saved me from tipping into the abyss with positive, productive distraction that filled my mind and fed my soul. It was an incredible gift, and I know Ted was behind me all the way. If I hadn’t done it, I would have lost my mind. The negative didn’t seem to stick; I couldn’t help but be drawn to the positive. To this day, I can’t help but to effortlessly find the positive in almost any situation. I like to call this along with all the beauty and human goodness my children and I received in the weeks, months and years that followed the “’Godness (goodness) of 9/11.”
Would I do it the same way if I had to do it again? Without the wisdom that hindsight gives, I would have to say with confidence and enthusiasm….absolutely!I
The last thing I did with Rick Korn was to watch the show sitting in the Green Room at WWOR-TV Channel 9 Studios in Secaucus, NJ on September 11, 2002.
That night, I drove home by myself. And the first year was over.