In the days and weeks following 9-11 it was a struggle to decide how to proceed. Should daily life go back to normal? Could it go back to normal? When is it ok to go back to things we enjoy after having watched so much pain and destruction? So many people were unsure, including the entertainers we turned to each night to make us laugh. On September 17, David Letterman decided to take the lead and go on the air with all of his raw emotion on full display. His performance that night has been called “one of the purest, most honest and important moments in TV history.”

Unfortunately the video is a little rough. The sound doesn’t always match up and the quality is fuzzy, but it is still worth watching. It is moving to see Letterman’s passion, his mind full of questions, sadness, and anger all at once. It takes me back to how I felt (how we all felt) during that time. Letterman’s first guest that night was Dan Rather. At the end of the video you can click the link to watch part two, and it will take you to a moment you don’t often see…a stoic newsman publicly crying for his country while a friend holds his hand.