Composer honours victims of bombing at UN headquarters in Baghdad

18 August 2008

The writer of a classical work composed in honour of the United Nations staff members killed in the 2003 Baghdad bombing said the music is a gift to the UN family as officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, prepare to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the attack.

The Emmy Award-winning composer Steve Heitzeg said in an interview with the UN News Centre that he was inspired to compose Song Without Borders after hearing of the “senseless act” that took place at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad on 19 August 2003.

Being a pacifist and a believer in the work of the UN, Mr. Heitzeg said it was “extremely emotional” for him to write the piece of music.

“Even though these people’s lives were taken, their spirit and what they have worked their entire lives for will never be killed,” Mr. Heitzeg said.

Song without Borders will premiere at the UN Headquarters ceremony in New York in front of survivors of the attack.

Mr. Heitzeg said that in its second movement, “Blue Meditation” (in remembrance of members of the UN family killed in the pursuit of peace), a voice can be heard crying for peace. He added that he hoped the piece would heal wounds for survivors and others.

Tomorrow morning, UN officials including Mr. Ban are set to gather in New York for the solemn ceremony marking the anniversary of the terrorist bombing. The ceremony has been organized by the Standing Committee on the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service.

 

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New string quartet piece to mark anniversary of UN Baghdad terrorist attack

A new classical music work called Songs without Borders, composed in memory of United Nations personnel who have perished in the line of duty, will be performed on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack against the world body’s Baghdad office which claimed 22 lives.