The Simple Gifts of Memorial Day: A Day for Music & Remembering

Here in the United States, it is the Memorial Day Holiday. A day when we take pause to remember our veterans who serve and sacrifice to keep Americans safe at home and abroad. In our town, we have a very short parade consisting of service representatives who walk with our flag as part of the American Legion, the high school marching band, the middle school marching band, and the local boy scouts. It is a parade of patriotic music and acknowledgement for those who have given so much for our country, including their very lives, in many instances.  For many reasons, I  love Memorial Day.

This is the first year in ten that I do not have a student in either of the bands. Just as they march by us, time marches by as well. I missed seeing my boys in the bands, but I did not want to miss this parade. It is such a short, beautiful recognition of the best our country has to offer. Sacrifice, Love, Patriotism, Loyalty, and Music.

Thankful for the veterans in our family, my Dad, and my late mother-in-law and father-in-law, as well as all those who choose to serve in the armed forces, attending the parade is the least I can do. Each year, it fills me with pride and gratitude, a great way to start off the day and frankly, the rest of the summer season.

The parade also fills me with music. Music is something that can transport and transcend feelings. It has always been an important part of my life. Following the parade, upon returning home from the 15 minute walk that takes us to our main street, I immediately put in one of the two compact discs of patriotic music that I own. They are not new CD’s and the music is not new but it is beautiful and renewing. I am listening to it now.

patriotic music CD's

Songs like Shenandoah, Yankee Doodle, The Star Spangled Banner, Simple Gifts, My Country Tis of Thee, American Patrol, Washington Post, The Air Forces Song, The Marines’ Hymn, The Stars and Stripes Forever, Over There, God Bless America, You’re a Grand Old Flag, Fanfare for the Common Man, This Land is Your Land, and others will be listened to and sung with, as they carry me through today and the rest of the week to come.  Thank you Veterans and thank you composers and musicians for inspiring love for our country and countrymen.


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