9/11 and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

By Jerry Borrowman

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Sept. 11 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

The songs scheduled for the concert were replaced by patriotic songs and hymns, and the choir was never in finer form. Their voices soared and our spirits responded. Then they sang words of solace, and we mourned for those who had died. President Hinckley, a masterful speaker, spoke inspiring words of solace and resolve. At the end, we were all spiritually uplifted in a way I had never experienced — the combination of a great shock combined with a marvelous program that appealed to people of all faiths and creeds.

It’s funny how you remember small details. In this instance, the thing that stood out is that the opening prayer was offered by President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, and the closing prayer by President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor. I realized I’d never been in a meeting where the First Presidency offered the prayers. For some reason, that added greatly to my appreciation of the event.

At the end of the concert, we all made our way out into the cool night air. We had no idea what lay ahead for America, but somehow we felt it would be all right. People hugged and then departed silently to their homes (the few of us from Utah) or to their hotels.

The conference ended the following day, and some people rented cars to make their way home. Others stayed in Salt Lake City until the airports reopened. But even today we all remember that marvelous shared experience of being sung to by the world’s greatest choir in an hour of deepest need.

Jerry Borrowman is a chartered financial consultant with a master's degree in financial services. He is an author of World War I and World War II fiction and a co-authored biography. His website is www.jerryborrowman.com.

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