A couple weeks ago my good friend and gifted songwriter/musician Andrew (BigDawg), Co-Founder of BigDawg Music Mafia, and I were tuned in to “America Akbar” on Radio Jihad Network, a weekly internet radio show hosted by our good friends Gadi Adelman, a counter-terrorism expert, speaker, and author; and his lovely co-host/producer Reese Ccup. During the show, a gentleman named George called in to share some of his thoughts about 9/11 as he was one of the firefighters there that day who lost so many of his brothers when the towers collapsed and is personally suffering from health issues brought on from the Ground Zero toxins.
Reese wanted George to hear a song they often play on their show that Drew and I had written in 2009 called “A Hero’s Creed” – a tribute to all the 9/11 first responders and our military members fighting the war on terror. There was a line in the original version that said “Eight years have passed…no attacks on our land…we owe it to those who heed the call.” Sadly, since the new administration moved into our nation’s capital, we can no longer say that.
We needed to update the song, so we did. Somehow, however, through a slight miscommunication regarding our updating of the song, Gadi was under the impression we were working on a brand new 9/11 tribute song and would have it ready in time for his 9/11 Tribute show on 8 Sep. We knew we had to write a new song for Gadi’s show.
[youtube NVPYEFucIMA “Stairs To Heaven” by Lisa Mei Norton & Andrew (BigDawg)]
It did not take long for us to come up with the concept for the song: a young girl who lost her father – one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed – who is now a young woman looking back with sadness on all that she lost that day and a determination to follow in her Dad’s footsteps and serve her country in uniform…knowing one day she would meet him again.
In just one week (a record for us), Drew and I took that concept, crafted the lyrics together in real time (Google Docs is great for collaborating online), and developed a basic melody. I sent my raw vocals to him and had no idea what the track would sound like when he got finished with it, but knew he would more than do it justice. I heard it for the first time a few hours before Gadi’s show Thursday evening. I smiled as tears rolled down my cheeks.
As we pause to remember those we lost that day – the innocent civilians and the first responders – and those who have died since then fighting the war on terror, let us also lift up the youngest victims in prayer – the children left behind.
Godspeed brothers and sisters…we will never forget.