Bruce Springsteen made a previously unannounced appearance on Saturday during the 20th anniversary 9/11 tribute at the World Trade Center Memorial Plaza. A noticeably thinner Springsteen, dressed in somber funeral attire, performed “I’ll See You In My Dreams” — the wistful album closer to his most recent Letter To You collection — for the mourners along with local and national politicians.
During his recent Springsteen On Broadway run, Springsteen had chosen to replace the classic “Born To Run” with “I’ll See You In My Dreams,” believing it more aptly summed up the story he was trying to convey this time around.
According to The Asbury Park Press, “President Joe Biden, former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, members of Congress, dignitaries and the relatives of victims were in the audience at the memorial ceremony. Former President George W. Bush spoke during the 9/11 commemoration at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.”
Bruce Springsteen, who less than a year after 9/11, captured the hearts of a shell-shocked and grieving nation with his seminal 2002 The Rising album, has long felt that the job he does is one that’s existed through the ages — long before arenas, albums, and MTV: “If you look at the role of storytellers in communities, y’know, going back to the beginning of time, y’know, they played a sort of. . . you played a very functional role in assisting the community in making sense of its experience, sense of the world around them, charting parts of their lives, getting through parts of their lives. I was interested in sort of the eternal role of storyteller-songwriter and how I was going to perform that function best.”