37 minutes | Sep 9, 2021

America’s Song, Part 1

With his performance of “God Bless America” during Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, New York City Police Department Officer Daniel Rodriguez comforted a nation still grieving in the wake of 9/11. It felt like a timeless moment. Instead, it proved fleeting. Twenty years later, the reasons for that tell a sad American story of political divisions and the embellished patriotism that now polarizes sports. The weight of it all can be felt through the struggles of Rodriguez, a man still trying to bless people with his voice, while America attempts to rediscover its own.  Join Washington Post sports columnist Jerry Brewer, sports features writer Kent Babb and audio producer Bishop Sand as they explore how a man and a nation attempt to heal and find meaning after trauma and tragedy. In Part 1, Jerry, Kent and Bishop revisit Daniel Rodriguez’s iconic performance and mull over what made it so powerful. Then they go looking for the real Rodriguez, and hear how an aspiring opera singer became a policeman catapulted to fame after a national tragedy. To find photos of Daniel Rodriguez then and now, visit wapo.st/911.
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