‘A DAY I’ll never forget’ is how Limerick singer-songwriter Conor Sheehan described performing at the recent ceremony in Boston to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities.
The native of the South Circular Road said he was sitting at home in Bunratty on Tuesday, September 8 when received the surprise phone call to sing his tribute in Boston.
The 61 year-old wrote the song, entitled ‘Never Yield’, as a tribute to “all ordinary people who show courage and bravery in extraordinary circumstances.”
He had only recently returned to his lifelong passion, after working for many years for an aviation company in Shannon Airport.
On September 10 he flew to Boston at the invitation of the city authorities to sing at the 9/11 Memorial Ceremonies.
“I had written an anthem which I thought might suit the tenth anniversary and I submitted it months before, to the committee handling the remembrance ceremonies.
“I received word that they liked the song very much and that they might want to have it performed there,” he told the Limerick Leader.
“From the start I didn’t really expect that they would want to have a non-American input to a very sensitive occasion, but at the same time I had a strong feeling that the song might be very appropriate. I was a bit taken aback when I got a call at ten o’ clock at night that the anthem would not only be opening the whole ceremony, but that it was to be sung by me,” he explained.
He said he was “hugely honoured” to be invited, and travelled with his wife Clair who is originally from Boston.
He recalled there being a “strange silence” at the start of the ceremony, when they could only hear “the flapping of hundreds of flags and banners.” As the music became louder, it was “absolutely spine tingling”, he said. “There was a tremendously emotional feeling to the whole occasion. It’s a day we won’t forget.”