Pearl Jam performed at Madison Square Garden this past Sunday on the 21st anniversary of 9/11. Eddie Vedder took a moment during the show to honor the somber anniversary and the brave first responders of the terrorist attack.
Vedder delivered a five-minute speech where he touched on a number of points. The most poignant of them was about getting proper funding and healthcare to first responders still struggling with the effects of 9/11 and how the country came together following the attack.
The Pearl Jam frontman talked about meeting with first responders before the show and other activists that have fought for first responders to get proper healthcare. Vedder mentions an activist named John and an exchange they had.
“He said, ‘Let’s not make it political. It’s very basic: Just support healthcare for heroes. Treat heroes like they deserve to be treated,'” said Vedder. He then talked about speaking with another first responder who touched on the phrase “Never Forget.” The first responder said the phrase “is a bit of a bumper sticker at this point.”
“He told me 9/11 was obviously horrific, traumatic, despicable,” said Vedder. “But he says, in some ways, 9/12 was awesome. People came together as one. We were supported by the rest of the planet, almost every other country. And most importantly, in our country, we supported each other. There was a time when we supported each other.”
Vedder’s full remarks can be heard below.