by Rafe Lavine
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 reprises, on a personal level, the shock and disbelief, both still so indelibly etched in the mind. My name is Rafe Lavine. I’m a radio guy. I was live, on-air, in Johannesburg, South Africa on that terrible day. By pure chance I happened to be tuned to CNN on the studio monitor when those unforgettable images flashed onto the screen. It was then up to me to translate the unfolding horror for a radio audience while words were almost impossible to find.
THE GLOBAL FAMILY
The world changed forever that day and it had a profound and lasting effect on me. Of course, I was not alone. A fellow South African, a musician by the name of Peter Hanmer, was equally incensed and horrified.
The global impact of 9/11 is manifest in that just two out of countless others halfway around the world also sensed the acute pain of that dreadful day. We both felt helpless as there was little we could do to help…..Until now…… We find that we are not powerless after all, that there is something we can do to extend a hand of fellowship.
Instinctively, back in 2001, Peter had felt compelled to chronicle, on the one hand, his outrage and, on the other, his heartfelt empathy. He did this in the only way he knew how. He composed an anthem that shares not only the agony of New York City, Washington D.C and Shanksville, Pennsylvania but at the same time speaks volumes for American resolve and character under adversity.
The song is “REMEMBER SEPTEMBER”. It is, without exception, the most evocative musical memorial of this singular tragedy I have yet heard. Whilst it is a genuine expression of a common grief, it is also a flag of solidarity. It is, simultaneously, an uplifting tribute, a salute to the spirit and tenacity of New Yorkers and the American people, a celebration of the Phoenix that has arisen out of Ground Zero, a voice with a clear message – “Those who take us on in our own backyard, then run and hide – be sure that we WILL find you, justice WILL be done and we WILL survive.”
In order to realize this desire to pitch in and offer a helping hand from South Africa, those who do charitable work come first to mind. TUESDAY’S CHILDREN is a New York-based charity that has embarked on a long-term program of commitment to caring for the children of 9/11 victims, the families of rescue and recovery workers and, more recently, those who have been impacted by terrorist incidents worldwide. Their essential contribution to the needs of these innocents includes mentoring, counseling, career-planning and psychological, emotional and social development and we are honoured and privileged to be associated with them and their vital, ongoing service to the community. (For more visit www.tuesdayschildren.org)
DONATE TO HELP
This is where we can join hands. In order to lend support to this exemplary cause (and the furtherance of their remarkable work) we have embedded the video (see below) of “Remember September” by Off The Edge (shot in a live setting in September 2004) and a newly-recorded audio track to iTunes, Nokia Music Store, Napster and various other online music stores, for a download fee of $0.99. This fee will be collected and then donated to Tuesday’s Children charity.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Just $0.99 and it is you, amongst many we hope, who can seize this rare opportunity to help rebuild the lives of those who were left behind from the smoke, the sorrow and the memory of 9/11.
Visit the Remember September 2011 website to make a donation.
Peter Hanmer and Rafe Lavine