WASHINGTON CITY, Utah — A southern Utah man plans to commemorate the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks with a musical tribute — one that will last two days.
Alan Foote of Washington City says he will perform Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” 911 times in a two-day marathon performance beginning before dawn Sunday morning at Staheli Family Farms.
Following a morning prayer and remarks by Veterans Coalition of Southern Utah Chairman William Toole, Foote said he will perform the patriotic song at a rate of about 19 times per hour, with 15-minute intervals to rest his voice.
He told The Spectrum of St. George that his goal is to finish by 6:46 a.m. Tuesday, the anniversary of when the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center.
“I would love for the community to stop whatever they’re doing at 6:40 a.m. on Tuesday and sing with me that 911th time,” Foote said, adding the event will be a low-key opportunity for people to reaffirm their patriotism.
He said he’s not doing the marathon performance in an attempt to set a record. The idea grew out of news reports about a New York school where “God Bless the U.S.A.” was removed from a school program because the principal feared it might offend some people.
“All of a sudden, I just got angry and committed to doing this,” Foote told The Spectrum.
About 500 flags will surround the tent where he will sing, and columns of 3,497 solar lights will replicate the Twin Towers at night. The latter figure represents the number of people killed in the terrorist attacks.
The event also will feature an American Indian flutist and actors who play former presidents, Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross. Free apple pie donated by local stores also will be available to the public Monday while supplies last.
Foote said the event will serve as a trial run for a follow-up event next year. “It will be with an international flavor … because patriotism doesn’t just belong to the United States,” he said. “Next year people will be able to come and plant flags from other countries.”