Band hosted 9/11 First Responders at MSG on 21st anniversary of terrorist attack
Last night (Sun, Sept 11th) at Madison Square Garden, Pearl Jam honored the first responders of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the 21st anniversary of the tragedy. Frontman Eddie Vedder talked about meeting with a group of first responders before the show and being reminded of the importance of September 12th as a day when everyone came together in solidarity. He called out the incredible work of John Feal, a retired construction worker who lost part of his foot while working at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the attacks and founded the FealGood Foundation to benefit responders who have suffered from numerous health issues ever since.
That same solidarity is needed now to ensure that the heroes of September 11th continue to receive the treatment they need for the significant injuries and illnesses sustained on and stemming from that horrific day, many caused by the toxic dust generated by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
After 17 years of hard work from survivors and advocates, Congress finally responded to this crisis by creating the World Trade Center Health Program. Today, it encompasses more than 117,000 responders and survivors, most of whom are being treated for more than one illness. World Trade Center Health Program provides critical care but is facing an impending $3 billion budget shortfall.
Unless Congress acts by the end of the year, the program will be forced to stop accepting new members who are sick and to make additional cuts in services. The Bipartisan 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding and Correction Act would ensure the program gets the funding to meet the medical needs of 9/11 responders and survivors.
“So let those events we got through together all those years ago and that these men and women are still courageously healing from – let those lessons be remembered as our solidarity to come together and keep this country straight … this country that we love.” shares frontman Eddie Vedder.
He continues by sharing a conversation with First Responder Lt. Michael O’Connell, FDNY.
“Nine-Eleven was horrific, traumatic, despicable … but in some ways, 9/12 was awesome. Nine-Twelve people came together as one. We were supported by the rest of the planet. And most importantly in our country, we supported each other. There was a time when we supported each other. That’s the part that we cannot forget. We can stay together. We don’t have to wait for another terrorist attack and suffer this thing of being divided.”
The group is set to wrap the North American leg of the Gigaton World Tour on September 22nd. Vedder is also headlining two solo sets October 1st and 8th at his own Ohana Festival in Dana Point, CA.
The band documented the European run on SiriusXM’s Pearl Jam Radio with “official Bootleg audio.” Each Bootleg isnow available on CD and digital formats in the band’s webstore.
Earlier this summer, they released Gigaton (Tour Edition) featuring 11 live songs recorded during the band’s triumphant return to the road in 2021 alongside the group’s critically acclaimed chart-topping eleventh full-length album originally released in 2020. It is available at all DSPs and as in limited edition LP/CD combo only in independent record stores across the country.