When we recently caught up with lifelong New Yorker Billy Joel, he reflected back on September 11th, 2001 and told us that although the events of the day will obviously never be forgiven or forgotten, New York's strength and resilience should never be in doubt: "We'll never forget. Nah, I don't think it'll be forgotten, but I think we've recovered a good deal. I know once they nailed (Osama) Bin Laden -- that's another thing that put it behind us. I don't know, this city has great resolution. There's a lot of resolve, there's a lot of character here. You're not gonna keep this place down."
Billy, who performed at both the September 21st America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon and the October 20th, 2001 Concert For New York City, explained that ego and career played literally no role in saluting the casualties of 9/11: "I felt kind of irrelevant, to tell you the truth. I'm glad they raised money and I'm glad I could do something. It wasn't nearly enough. I dunno, something like this makes you feel very inadequate, really. That was a feeling I was getting from people -- we were meeting and greeting backstage. . . kinda chagrined shrugs, like, 'Well, at least we can try to do something.'"
He went on to recall his first visit to Ground Zero following the attacks: "I stayed there for about four hours, just talking to cops and firemen. That was absolutely mind-boggling. I felt like I was at least in contact with the people who were right there. It felt. . . As bizarre as the, the scene was, and as horrendous as the carnage was, I felt like I was having more first-hand contact with those people than going on television."
Photo Courtesy of BillyJoel.com