Springsteen sang his 2020 song, while playing the acoustic guitar and harmonica, at the World Trade Center memorial plaza as part of the ceremony remembering the almost 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11 2001.
The New Jersey native, 71, introduced the song, saying: ‘God bless our fallen brothers and sisters, and their families, their friends and their loved ones.’
He then broke into a moving rendition of the song, which includes the emotional lyrics: ‘For death is not the end, And I’ll see you in my dreams.’
Bruce Springsteen gave a heart-wrenching solo performance of ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’ at the 9/11 memorial in New York City Saturday, to mark the 20th anniversary of America’s darkest day
Springsteen sang his 2020 song, while playing the acoustic guitar and harmonica, at the World Trade Center memorial plaza
Springsteen’s performance was met with applause from the audience of survivors and family members of victims who were killed on the horrific day exactly 20 years ago.
The song, the final track on his 2020 album Letter To You, was released in March 2021. It was dedicated on its release to Australian record executive Michael Gudinski who died aged 68 the day before the song’s release.
Springsteen performed the song just after a moment of silence at 9:03am which marked the moment hijacked airplane United Airlines Flight 175 was flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
There were six moments of silence throughout the ceremony started by the chime of a bell – for the moment each tower was struck by the planes, the time both towers fell.
Bell chimes also rung out for the moment the Pentagon was struck by the third hijacked plane and the moment Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers tried to take it back from the terrorists on route to its suspected target of either the White House or the US Capitol.
The name of each victim was read out in the ceremony, which began at 8:30am and lasted several hours.
The ceremony also included a playing of the National Anthem.
Biden didn’t speak at the ceremony, instead releasing a pre-recorded video Friday telling Americans to ‘not be afraid’.
Also joining the ceremony were: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Family members of victims and survivors gathered at the 9/11 memorial in Lower Manhattan, New York City, Saturday
Family members leave flowers at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum after the ceremony marking the 20th anniversary
Biden then headed to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Flight 93 memorial site, making the spot where the United Airlines jet crashed killing all 40 on board.
It is believed to have been en route to the White House or US Capitol when passengers fought back against the hijackers, prompting them to slam the jet into the ground.
The president will then head to the Pentagon, as he visits all three sites of the coordinated September 11 attacks.
George W. Bush, who was less than a year into his presidency when the terrorist attacks took place, attended the ceremony in Shanksville where he gave a speech condemning ‘violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,’ calling them ‘children of the same foul spirit.’
Bush also used his address to tell veterans and servicemembers that their sacrifices in the War on Terror weren’t for nothing and pushed the nation to display the same sort of unity that was present in the days after September 11 2001.
‘Many Americans struggled to understand why an enemy would hate us with such zeal,’ Bush said.
‘The security measures incorporated into our lives are both sources of comfort and reminders of our vulnerability.
‘And we have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within.’
The former president said there is ‘little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home’ except for their ‘disregard of human life.’
Springsteen, 71, introduced his song, saying: ‘God bless our fallen brothers and sisters, and their families, their friends and their loved ones’
Springsteen’s performance was met with applause from the audience of survivors and family members of victims
‘In their determination to defile national symbols they are children of the same foul spirit and it is our continuing duty to confront them,’ Bush said – an apparent reference to both the 9/11 hijackers and the January 6 Capitol rioters.
The former Republican president was joined by Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris at the Flight 93 National Memorial.
She also gave a speech urging Americans to remember the ‘unity’ that came out of the tragedy two decades ago.
Harris said this togetherness is ‘essential to our shared prosperity, our national security, and to our standing in the world.’
‘On the days that followed September 11th, 2001, we were all reminded that unity is possible in America. We were reminded, too, that unity is imperative in America.
‘It is essential to our shared prosperity, our national security, and to our standing in the world,’ Harris said.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrive at the National September 11 Memorial in New York on Saturday
They then traveled on to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to lay a wreath at the Wall of Names at the Flight 93 National Memorial
Meanwhile, Donald Trump was the only surviving US president who did not attend one of the official ceremonies honoring the people killed two decades ago.
Instead, Trump marked the beginning of the 20th anniversary by tearing into Biden over his Afghanistan withdrawal and telling his supporters ‘do not fear, America will be made great again’.
Trump released a video message from his Save America PAC Saturday morning speaking only briefly about the terrorist attacks that killed almost 3,000 Americans on September 11 2001 – instead slamming his successor for his ‘bad planning’ and ‘incredible weakness’ in pulling troops out of Afghanistan.
The former president said the US ‘will struggle to recover from the embarrassment this incompetence has caused.’
‘We will live on, but sadly, our country will be wounded for a long period of time, we will struggle to recover from the embarrassment this incompetence has caused,’ he said.
George W. Bush, who was less than a year into his presidency when the terrorist attacks took place, attended the ceremony in Shanksville where he gave a speech condemning ‘violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home’
he former Republican president was joined by Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris at the Flight 93 National Memorial who also gave a speech urging Americans to remember the ‘unity’ that came out of the tragedy two decades ago
‘Do not fear, however, America will be made great again.’
He then sent out a statement complimenting Giuliani Saturday morning.
‘Congratulations to Rudy Giuliani (for the 20th time!), the greatest Mayor in the history of New York City, for having shown such leadership and doing such an incredible job during and after the attack on our Nation!’ the ex-president said.
Trump sent out additional statements critical of Biden’s Afghanistan pull-out throughout the somber day.
The former president told Fox Friday he will visit Ground Zero Saturday – after Biden leaves.
He had been tightlipped on his plans to mark two decades on from the horrific day that changed the world.
He did however make plans to host a boxing match between Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort in Hollywood, Florida, Saturday night.
Flames roar out of the Twin Towers after two hijacked planes were flown into the buildings on September 11 2001