“America, The Beautiful” – with a Spanish verse and a merengue beat?
That’s how vocalist extraordinaire, Karina Pasian, who was only 10 years old when the 2001 terrorist attacks happened, will help mark Sept. 11.
Pasian, a Dominican-American from Washington Heights, has been tapped to perform “America, The Beautiful” on Sunday in Union Square.
"I definitely want people to be moved by it, and get a feeling of joy," Pasian told the New York Daily News.
"Even though it was such a horrible event, [people] should still celebrate life and our beautiful country."
Pasian, who is 20, was in a piano lesson on the Upper West Side when her mother, like so many other parents did with their children on that fateful day, rushed to get her.
"Everybody's parents were just coming to get everyone," Pasian told the Daily News. "At that moment, I didn't really know exactly what was going on. Once my mom explained and once I saw the chaos in the streets and everybody was talking about what was going on, then it really hit me."
"I still wanted it to have energy into it,” she is quoted as saying in the newspaper. “This is all about bringing people together...It really does show what America is."
Besides the sprinkling of Latino touches in her rendition of “America, The Beautiful,” Pasian, who is a Grammy Award nominee and was the winner of the televised talent competition “Star Search,” also is weaving in references to Sept. 11.
According the newspaper, the song will end with a reference to the tragic day with the words: "America, America, we won't forget this day. Commemorate and celebrate, God bless the U.S.A."
The person who came up with the idea for rendition was Sidney Grant, who runs Ballroom Basix in Harlem, according the Daily News.
The new version of “America, The Beautiful” is planned for sale, with proceeds to go to services for Sept. 11 children, the newspaper reported.
About five years ago, former President George Bush praised Pasian at an event at White House.
"By age 12," Bush told the audience, "[Pasian] was performing at the Coliseum in Rome before a television audience of more than half a million people, alongside Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli."
"Today she's 15 years old. She's already recorded her first album," Bush said. "And in spite of young age, she tackles very mature issues with her music. She sings about hunger and disease in Africa and the genocide in Darfur."