Can you spare an hour to pray and reflect?

Whether it's at 8:46 am or 9:03 am on Saturday September 11, 2021 or at any period throughout the day, taking the time out to grieve, mourn, sit in silent or communal prayer could once again bring healing to our nation.

As we reflect on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a Howell resident has put his thoughts into song as a way of remembering what happened, honoring our heroes from that day and trying to recapture that time period in the days and weeks following the attacks when our nation came together to heal.

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Vinnie DeMarinis said he felt inspired by the heroes of 9/11 to write and sing 'Hold On (A Tribute to 9/11)as well as everyday people trying to help out on scene.

"The first responders who went up there to save as many lives as they can and not only the first responders but you had regular people out there trying to help their fellow man," DeMarinis tells Townsquare Media News.

He also depicted in his song what he saw from afar and what others saw up front and all over watching as the Twin Towers collapsed as well as the heroes trying to rescue anyone they could from the rubble.

"Hundreds of people came in to help people that they really knew were in a dire situation," DeMarinis said.

The moments, hours, days, weeks following the 9/11 attacks and the first responders and others on scene trying to rescue and save as many lives as they could is the first inspiration in this tribute song.

The second is how a community and a nation came together bringing on a story of hope.

"Yea, we may have been knocked down but all of us up together, got up, shook the dirt off and now we're rebuilding and coming back as strong as we ever were," DeMarinis said.

The series of questions that are asked around and on 9/11 include...where were you on 9/11? Did you know anyone? what was your reaction?

Vinnie DeMarinis was not in the city, he was at home with his wife Noreen like many Americans just in shock and what was unfolding.

"I was in my home office and my wife was downstairs and all the sudden I heard a yell, 'Vinnie, a plane hit the World Trade Center'," DeMarinis said.

He was trying to process what happened and why...was it an accident....did something happen with the plane?

"Then when she yelled 'another plane', I immediately knew that there was something wrong, this isn't right," DeMarinis said.

He knew someone close to him was in the city that day as well.

"My cousin Joe worked in the Amex buildings right down in that area so he got caught in that building as well down in the basement and thank God he was able to get out," DeMarinis said. "Once the towers fell, they had to be forced down to the basement from the Amex building until they could make sure it was safe to leave."

Part of his song is also about the present, in looking back at the 9/11 attacks but also calling for hope and unity here in 2021 to try and bring the country back together as one, to live in a world "where hatred is defeated by love", as he sings in 'Hold On'.

"It's a shame that it took such a horrific event to bring the country together as one as oppose to why can't we just do it now," DeMarinis said.

The song, 'Hold On', begins with a line from then President George Bush saying "Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack. This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve all for justice and peace," before heading into Vinnie's opening line.

He gives credit for the President Bush quote to Dillon “Diego” Rigattieri, who helped produce the song along with “Young” George Buccheri along with Vinnie's son Vinnie and daughter Jenna who helped design the album cover and Collin McCabe who helped work on the song which was produced at Lakeside Studios in Asbury Park.

"I thought it was brilliant because it immediately takes you to what the song is about," DeMarinis said.

At that time, even now, he said the only thing that mattered was saving lives and that moving forward it's also about coming together regardless of who you are and where you're from so we can unite as a country to thwart off evil.

"If we can do that, on a horrific day, why can't we just do that now without any of that," DeMarinis said.

You can listen to the song here (you can also find on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes and Shazam):

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