A Letter To My Fans: Concrete Tears
I am an artist primarily known for my Holiday and Christmas music, and I’ve been blessed to have a successful career. Every day, people marvel at my ability to write Christmas music: to compose hundreds of songs about home, family, and the holidays. I’m constantly writing songs about and for my family. It is truly my inspiration.
The truth is, I have a deep appreciation for the holidays because for one fateful day, I knew what it felt like to lose it all. To lose my family, my home, my neighborhood, and my sense of safety.
That nightmare happened for me many years ago. Unlike the dreams you escape when you wake, I’ve had to learn to live through mine.
On a single September day, everything I had known to be true — from the air I breathed to the ground beneath my feet — was robbed from me by a decision of just a few individuals. People I will never know or ever meet.
The injustice is that in my heart, the pain is with me everyday. I could look you in the eyes and swear to you this happened yesterday. In reality, it was 15 years ago. Time is a thief of the present. For everything that I might have lost, I also received a gift. I gained perspective of what is important. If even the most indestructible things can be destroyed in a moment, what is everlasting? If we are left with nothing, what do we have?
I was born and raised in the shadows of the Twin Towers. In fact to this day, I still live and work near the World Trade Center. All the Christmas music I have ever composed was written, produced and recorded steps away from Ground Zero. All it takes is for me to walk outside my door to be reminded of that day, everyday.
This September marks the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks. To know that this happened 15 years ago — yet still feels like yesterday to me — is hard to understand. I wrote “Concrete Tears” as catharsis, to make sense of the experience of what its like to grow up living and loving a place that now has such a dark history.
“Concrete Tears” serves as a letter to my future family. I don’t have kids yet, but I know if and when I do, they won’t really understand. For this song, they were my inspiration. I wrote this song for them. I have been working with the 9/11 Memorial to include Concrete Tears as part of the oral history collection at the museum.
So to go back to the question: If we are left with nothing, what do we have?
I believe these things are love.
I believe these things are family.
I believe our legacy is how we spend our love and time with our family.
My belief in these things are my cornerstones, and the threads that comprise the fabric of my character and my life’s work of composing great Christmas music. For me it seems silly to wait to celebrate the spirit of the holidays? We should celebrate everyday. That
is what it means to never forget.
Don’t let time rob you of the present.