For 9/11 — a performance that still brings tears to my eyes

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Published on September 11, 2013

I am a football fan, but I don’t even remember, off the top of my head, who played in the Super Bowl in 2002. I’ll never forget the halftime show by U2. As the list of those killed on 9/11 rises into the sky, they open with the somber tune of the song “MLK,” then transition into “Where the Streets Have no Name.”

In a near-whisper, Bono chants from the Book of Psalms: “Oh Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.”

It’s pretty hard to do this sort of commemorative performance tastefully — after all, we’re talking about a football halftime show, surrounded by gaudy advertising (note the E-Trade stamp that appears on screen near the end), and somehow it was supposed to honor the memory of thousands of people who had been slaughtered just months earlier. I thought they did an amazing job.