In the weeks after 9-11, the phrase "Fallen Heroes" was heard a great deal. One day it came into my head with music attached and a tribute song was born. I tried to create images of what happened, offer a way to deal with it, and give an uplifting thought at the end while broadening the idea to a National resolve to move onward, secure in the knowledge that the loss of life was not for nothing, that we would, as a nation, become stronger and more unified and more appreciative of those who take risks for us.
I had occasion to sing "Fallen Heroes" to Firefighters in Rahway NJ at a benefit for five Firefighters who did not return from the WTC. The positive response prompted me to begin visiting firehouses and Police stations in the Los Angeles area and sing to whoever would listen, to show my appreciation for what they do.
I tour with an exhibition softball team that goes coast to coast every summer (you can find out more about that at www.kingandcourt.com), so I am used to long drives. I formulated a plan to take my tribute song to as many places as I could, by driving from LA to Ground Zero, stopping along the way to visit Public Safety personnel. I took commemorative Tee shirts with me for them to sign for their counterparts in New York, thereby allowing them to participate in the show of unity.
The whole idea is connected to volunteerism. I have always been an active volunteer on many levels and I consider this trip a personal contribution. I'll continue the effort until 9-11-2003.
I want to be able to show my appreciation for safety officials everywhere, but especially for those who were at the WTC. I lived in NYC for seven years and watched the Towers go up. Perhaps others will hear about what I'm doing and do something in their own communities to support these men and women with so much on the line. Maybe what they do will cross over to other segments of society.
Finally, as a former New Yorker, I want to share in the feelings of my onetime neighbors and offer, as many of them have, something to alleviate the terrible feelings of pain and loss. It has always been my philosophy that we are here to make the world better; to make positive changes. I'm trying. Jack Knight