Covey Center musical honors 15th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

The American Freedom Festival’s “America Nine-Eleven Musical” this Friday will honor the first responders who died in the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago. (Carl Bacon)

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon. Sponsored by the American Freedom Festival, Utah’s Covey Arts Center will premiere the “America Nine-Eleven Musical” on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, in honor of those who died during the attacks.

According to the Freedom Festival website, the “powerful, patriotic musical production” will use both original and existing songs to shape narratives based on actual events.

Carl Bacon, executive producer of the musical, said the musical is meant to honor first responders. Though the event comes at the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Bacon said they hope to make this an ongoing tradition.

“This is the premiere event,” he said. “We feel this is something that could keep going. We intend to move it forward and become even an annual event here.”

The “America Nine-Eleven Musical” will feature artists like violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, pianist Melanie Shore and singer Dallyn Bayles, among other renowned performers. The acclaimed artists will perform with either no compensation or under a significantly discounted fee.

Bacon said the musical comes at a controversial time for first responders, such as police officers, who are under criticism by the media and others.

“(First responders) are getting challenged heavily and unfairly. Yes, there are some police officers and others who aren’t always doing the correct things,” Bacon said. “But by far, the majority are doing the right things.”

In expressing his appreciation for first responders, Bacon recalled a story about the first responder police officer at the San Bernardino shooting who told frightened civilians, “Follow me. Follow me. I will take the first bullet.”

The message of the musical is to remind viewers “lest we forget” the sacrifices of first responders like these.

“We want to touch the hearts of the people; that’s what we are doing with this,” Bacon said. “We don’t want them to forget.”

Tickets to this event must be reserved through the Covey Center Box Office at 801-852-7007.

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