Presented to John by The Tuscon CMC Edinburgh Scotland at Club's 20th Anniversary party, when he appeared there with 'Memphis Roots' on October 22nd, 2001.
On the trophy it says:
Act of the Year 2000
The atrocity of 11 September changed all our lives, and I want to share some thoughts about it.
I was at my apartment in Holland when it happened. A total stranger knocked on my door and spoke to me in Dutch; he had no idea I was American. He switched to English and told me that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center.
So, from the beginning, I had a sense of support from Europe. All of the West was attacked on that day, and it was great comfort to feel that the U. S. would not have to stand alone.
I switched on the TV in time to see the first video of the attack. Later, to my utter horror, I watched the second tower fall. Thousands of people perished right before our eyes. As an American, I felt I had been personally attacked. It seemed that the world was falling apart.
I switched to BBC. There, commentary was generally better than on CNN. There was no question that the British were standing with us, too. Tony Blair's words were clear and strong, and I felt great relief that he and the British people were on our side.
I checked the German and Belgian channels. I didn't understand most of the words, but there was no doubt those nations were shocked and outraged as well. The Dutch news stations were expressing the same thing. All of the West seemed to be closing ranks within hours of the attack.
My next tour was in England and Scotland. I'm getting goosebumps just remembering it. It was the best tour of my life, and it took place in the aftermath of the September 11 attack. All my life I have seen newsreels of the British people coming together during the Blitz of WW II, and defiantly
standing against IRA terror. Now here I was on-stage in front of these same people, and a sense of strength and solidarity was alive at the gigs.
The British have much more experience than Americans at facing terror. They know that pursuing our normal lives, (including going to country gigs) is a real blow against our enemies. Terrorists want us to cower if fear; we will not let them achieve that. Every note we played on-stage took on real significance. The music had greater meaning than I have ever known. I dedicated a gospel song to the victims of the attack, and the feeling of oneness among the people was truly spiritual. I'll never forget it.
So, to those of you who came along, I thank you. You showed me that the
world is not falling apart. It is coming together.
All the best,
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