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David Letterman Post 9.11 Monologue

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Thu, 11 Sep 2008|

Today is the 7th Anniversary of the Attack On America, 9.11.01. David Letterman's opening remarks from his first post 9.11 show may be one of the most compelling broadcasts moments ever. Listen, remember, cry, and smile.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Welcome to the the late show this is our first show on the air since New York and Washington. Were attacked and and I need to ask your patience and an indulgence here because. I want to say a few things and believe me sadly I'm not going to be saying anything new. And in the past week others have said what I will be saying here tonight farm work eloquently than I'm equipped it to do. But if we are going to continue to do shows. I just need to hear myself talk for a couple of minutes and so that's what I'm gonna do here. It's it terribly sad here in New York City. What we've lost 5000 fellow New Yorkers. And -- you can feel it you can feel -- you can see it. It's terribly sad terribly terribly sad and watching all of this I wasn't sure. That I should be doing a television show because for for twenty years we've been in in the city. Making fun of everything making fun of the city making fun of my hair making fun of poll well. So to come to this circumstance that is so desperately sad I and I don't trust my judgment. In in matters like this. But I'll pay the reason that I am doing racial and the reason I -- back to work is because of mayor Giuliani. Very early on. After the attack and how strange doesn't sound to invoke that phrase after the attack. Mayor Giuliani encouraged us and here lately implored us to have to go back to our lives go on living. Continued trying to make New York City the place that it should be. And because of him I'm I'm here tonight and I just want to say one other thing about mayor Giuliani. As this began. And if you were like me and in many respects gotta hope you're not. But in this one small measure if you're like me and and you're watching and you're confused and and and depressed and and irritated and angry and full of grief. And you don't know how to behave and you're not sure what to do we and you don't really because we have been through this before. All you had to do at any moment was watch the mayor. Watch how this guy behaved watch how this guy conducted himself watch what this guy did listen to what this guy said. Rudolph Giuliani is the personification of courage. It's very simple there is only one requirement for any office and that is to be courageous. Because courage. If you might know defines. All other human behavior. And I believe because I've done a little this myself pretending to be courageous. Is just as good as as the real thing. He's an amazing man. And and far far better than we could have hoped for. 222 run this city. In the midst of this obscene chaos and attack and also demonstrate human dignity. My god who can do that that's a pretty short list. The twenty years we've been here in New York and we work closely with the police officers and and firefighters. And and fortunately. Most of us don't really have to think too much about what these men and women do wanna on a daily basis and and the phrase new York's finest. And new York's bravest. You know did it mean anything to us personally firsthand. Well maybe hopefully but probably not. But -- it means something now investment they they put themselves in harm's way. To protect people like us. And than the men and women. From the firefighters. And the police department. Who who are lost. Are are going to be missed by this city for a very very long time and I -- I hope for for myself. And everybody else and not only in New York but everywhere is that we never ever take these people for -- absolutely never take them for granted. I just died after going through this some. The reason we were attacked the reason these people are dead there these these people are missing and dead and they weren't doing anything wrong they were living their lives they were going to work they were travelling they were doing what they normally do. As I understand it. And and my understanding of this is vague at best. Another smaller group of people stole some airplanes and crashed them into buildings. And and we're told that they were -- zealots fueled by religious fervor religious fervor. And if you live to be a thousand years old will that make any sense the will that make any goddamn sentence. And I have won one more thing to say and then thank god Regis is here's we have something to make fun of if if you if you didn't if you didn't believe it before. And it's easy to understand how you might have been skeptical on this point. If you didn't believe it before you can absolutely believe it now New York City is the greatest city in the world.