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Willie Nelson Looks Back At Farm Aid 2001

Our Country

Ten years ago on this day, Willie Nelson, like the rest of America, witnessed the life-changing events of September 11. Nelson's annual Farm Aid benefit was scheduled to take place just 18 days after the attacks, leaving him and his fellow organizers of the benefit with a difficult choice: Should the show go on?

Nelson recalls his thoughts from a decade ago in an essay written for the Huffington Post: "Would folks be ready by then--to sing, to dance, to smile?" he notes. "John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, myself and our staff decided that the show should go on."

And it did, as planned, in Noblesville, Indiana; billed as Farm Aid: A Concert For America. "I could see looking out at the audience that this was not just a concert, but a coming together around all that is right and true in the United States," Nelson remembers. "Gathering at Farm Aid 2001 was a statement of our solidarity, our belief in each other, our faith that we would carry on, stronger than ever."

Here's one of the most touching musical moments you'll find from one of the most terrible months in American history. Farm Aid 2001's opening number--Arlo Guthrie starting "This Land Is Our Land" and joined by the entire Farm Aid lineup.

Including, of course, Nelson himself, who sang the proud stanza: "Nobody living can ever stop me, As I go walking that freedom highway; Nobody living can make me turn back. This land was made for you and me."

Watch for yourselves. Enjoy. Never forget.

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