September 11, 2018

“American Soldier:” A Tribute of Toby Keith to the 9/11 Infamy

September 11 is a date that holds close to the hearts of many Americans. It is the day that reminds us of an incident popularly known as the “9/11 Terrorist Attack.” This infamy opened the eyes of those not only in the United States but also the rest of the whole world.

"American Soldier:" A Tribute of Toby Keith to the 9/11 Infamy 1
Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography of National Geographic

Reckoning the past, the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic group Al-Qaeda against the United States. It happened at past 8:45 in the morning of September 11 in 2001. The attacks were massive, killing 2,996 people and leaving 6,000 others injured. Also, the incident left at least $10 billion damage in infrastructure and property.

It is now 17 years since that day when the darkness that terrorism left in the city of New York scared the whole world for an impending world war. By God’s grace and mercy, the terror of the attacks was pushed through. Today, we remember this day when brave citizens of our country held hand-in-hand in helping those who’ve lost their loved ones. Also, we pay tribute to our soldiers, our firemen, our military officials, and other civilians that despite such a crisis, they have given up their lives for greater hope and common good of everyone.

Terrorism, in any form, is a tragedy that benefits no one. We do not condone nor tolerate such an act since it destroys humanity and the character that builds it.

Toby Keith and “American Soldier”

American country music artist Toby Keith has been very vocal about his patriotism and respect to our soldiers. As such, he always conveys this through his patriotic songs that mostly pay tribute to the country and to those in military uniform. In particular, Keith has penned a song to honor those who have been heroes in the 9/11 tragedy. Here’s a song conceived by Keith honoring such lives of our unsung heroes.

"American Soldier:" A Tribute of Toby Keith to the 9/11 Infamy 2
American soldiers | Photo Credits:

Released On November 24, 2003, “American Soldier” was written by Toby Keith and Nashville songwriter Chuck Cannon and recorded by Keith. It was the second single from his eighth studio album, Shock’n Y’all. Also, Keith co-produced this song with musician and record producer James Stroud for DreamWorks Records.

Moreover, “American Soldier” favorably gained praises from fans and music critics alike. In fact, it debuted at no. 53 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on the third week of November 2003, the same time that his other single, “I Love This Bar” was at no. 1. Later, it then peaked at no. 1 on the said charts while reaching no. 28 on the pop charts.

Ten years later, RIAA certified “American Soldier” Platinum selling over 1 million digital sales to date.

The Song Story and Dedication

"American Soldier:" A Tribute of Toby Keith to the 9/11 Infamy 3
Toby Keith | Photo Credits:

With the aforementioned statement, Keith gives time to honor and dedicate songs to people who have done much to our country. He revealed that he and Cannon conceived the song

“for all the times that I get to meet the troops on these USO tours, and since Courtesy of Red, White, and Blue, the P.O.W.s and the families that have come and brought me back my old CD covers and stuff that they had and shown how much support they had (for me), this is my support for the American fighting men and women.”

Furthermore, he wrote “American Soldier” shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He mentioned that he wrote the song based on what he thought his father’s thoughts on the terrorist attacks would have been. Keith’s father was a veteran and a patriot.

In addition, stories have it that Keith finished writing the song in 20 minutes, a week after 9/11. Initially, his intention was to play it for troops on USO tours and not to be a part of a commercial release. After playing it for Pentagon brass in Washington, the Marine Corps commandant suggested Keith that he rather release it. He said:

“You have to release it. You can serve your country in other ways besides suiting up in combat.”

Watch Toby Keith’s patriotic song, “American Soldiers,” honoring those who have sacrificed their lives in the 9/11 attack:

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American Soldier, Toby Keith

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