Music Monday- Fallen

Beautiful black and white rose with note on the petals

It’s Memorial Day in the United States. A day we remember the men and women who died to give us freedom and safety. There’s a lot in the news these days about the US that would make it seem unworthy of the sacrifice others have given. There’s probably even more around the world that would say what I am calling sacrifices were acts of aggression rather than defense. Having gone to a Mennonite college, I know there are definitely those who despise any form of war or self-defense.

To those arguments, I would have to say that I’ve never really described myself as patriotic but I am thankful to live here. I have been to other countries. I have studied international relations and human rights. I have seen many protests and news reports in my life. They were as sensationalist in 2004 when I was a college student as they are in 2018. Spoiler alert: the world did not end just because xyz was elected president. I have studied languages, religion, and cultures and found beauty in them all. No nation is perfect or without its blemishes in history. I hope every nation is on a forward trajectory of improving the lives of its citizens. I am conscious of the fact that my freedom and comparative luxuries come at the cost of others. When diplomacy fails and tanks roll in, it is not the leaders with evil intentions that suffer but rather innocents who are fighting to protect their home as much as US soldiers do. I dream of a world where there is perfect peace but I know it won’t be achieved on this earth. Despite all the drawbacks and whether the government and any of its actions are right or wrong, the USA is my home and I am profoundly grateful for those who have defended it and preserved my way of life.

I think that is a sentiment that is nearly extinct these days. Honoring the veterans and the fallen shouldn’t be political. It shouldn’t be about demanding, expecting, hoping, or even working for perfection. It’s acknowledging that some went on a very different path of extreme sacrifice not for whoever was in the White House or the four-star general dictating battle plans, but for their families, friends, and neighbors. They acted with the best of intentions and for the purest motives: to protect home. They are worthy of my respect and admiration. Thank you to all who have served and the families who gave them up.

This is one of my favorite patriotic songs (although it mentions Veterans Day and not Memorial Day it is very much about those we remember en memoriam).

 

He stood beside his daddy
And watched the solders marching by
It was Veteran’s Day and he wondered
Why there were tears in daddy’s eyes
Later they laid flowers
Beside a monument of stone
He said, My daddy went to fight
And didn’t make it home

CHORUS:
Fallen, not forgotten
He was a hero
He stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory
He gave his all

They left behind their families
And the towns where they were born
For the rice paddies of Vietnam
And the sands of Desert Storm
They were soldiers in Korea
And World War One
And World War Two
They paid the price
Some gave their lives
And they fought for me and you

They were the heroes
Who stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory
They gave their all

Now freedom is a blessing
But freedom has a price
And we must remember those
Who paid it with their lives

Remember the
Fallen, not forgotten
They were the heroes
Who stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory
They gave their all
Fallen, not forgotten
They were the heroes
Who stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory
With honor and glory
With honor and glory
They gave their all

Copyright Ray Boltz / Steve Millikan

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