Editor’s Note: In the days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Bruce Springsteen, who had watched the smoking devastation of lower Manhattan from a point across the river in New Jersey, and who had lost friends as the World Trade Center towers crumbled, was in Rumson, when a passing driver yelled at him: “Bruce, we need you now!” Knowing exactly what the man meant, Mr. Springsteen began putting together the album that would be called The Rising, a meditation on the emotions generated by the events and tragedies of that day. The second song on the album reflects on the heroism of the firefighters who died in the towers: “The idea of those guys going up the stairs, up the stairs, ascending, ascending,” Mr. Springsteen explained. “I mean you could be ascending a smoky staircase, you could be in the afterlife, moving on.” It is worth noting that Mr. Springsteen’s son, Sam, became a member of the Colts Neck, New Jersey Fire Department in 2019.

Well the sky was falling and streaked with blood
I heard you calling me, then you disappeared into the dust
Up the stairs, into the fire
Yeah up the stairs, into the fire
I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

You gave your love to see, in fields of red and autumn brown
You gave your love to me and lay your young body down
Up the stairs, into the fire
Yeah up the stairs, into the fire
I need you near, but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love bring us love

It was dark, too dark to see, you held me in the light you gave
You lay your hand on me, walked into the darkness of your smoky grave
Up the stairs, into the fire
Yeah up the stairs, into the fire
I need your kiss, love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

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We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an online journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts, and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More, and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude, and prayer.

Editor’s Note: The featured image, A” deputy chief coordinates recovery efforts three days after the collapse of the World Trade Center,” is a Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Preston Keresis,  courtesy of Wikipedia

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