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Ray Stevens is usually a man ready to make people laugh.

Yet, with this, he’s ready to make people think.

Released “to help commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks,” the legendary singer’s song,  “Dear America,” made an immediate impact upon its release on Sept. 7. With lyrics such as “Dear America, I promise you, I’ll teach my children of your freedom and your grace,” Ray says he hopes the song makes an impact on each and every American.

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“We released this song to both create an awareness but also show an appreciation for not only the men and women who died on 9/11, but also the ones that are still dying each and every day for this country,” Ray tells Rare Country. “The fact that it has gone viral has been quite a surprise though. I never thought it would create such a reaction. But that reaction is such a good thing. Maybe America is ready to hear something positive.”

Written by Ray’s keyboard player’s wife, the song’s heartfelt lyrics serve as a reminder to all of us to unify as a nation, especially as we head into the presidential election come November. And while the song is a punch to the heart, its accompanying video also packs an enormous amount of emotion.

“We wanted to keep the video simple, with just a few shots of the flag and the Statue of Liberty,” Ray says. “I didn’t think the video needed to be grandiose. In fact, I would say that keeping it simple gave it more meaning.”

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And no American can forget where they were on that September day — even Ray.

“I walked in the office and one of my secretaries asked if I had seen the news,” Ray recalls his memories of Sept. 11, 2001. “We turned on the television and just watched.”

And on this Sept. 11, Ray will join with the rest of the country in a time of remembrance. “Every Sept. 11, I can’t help to think about what’s going to happen next because these people are not done,” he concludes. “Every Sept. 11 since that Sep. 11, that’s what I do. I think about what’s going to happen next.”

Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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