Recently, I had the privilege to play violin with the Red Bluff Masterworks Chorale & Orchestra. Our Memorial Day Weekend concert, honoring God, the United States of America, and the Men & Women of the Armed Forces. I always look forward to this concert because the music is so rich and meaningful. Colored red, white, & blue.
Before each tune, Conductor Mark Franklin turned to the audience and said, “This one is my favorite.” They laughed, but he meant what he said. And he was right. Every rousing or heart-tugging tune celebrating our military heroes was the best.
If I had to pick a favorite, and don’t hold me to this choice, it might be “This Is America.” A medley of theme songs played for each branch of the service. Our mighty chorale’s rendition of “The Caissons Go Rolling Along” and “Anchors Away” gave me goose bumps. Members of the audience who served in that branch or whose loved one had done so were directed to stand and be honored when they heard their familiar tune. I saw tears stream down proud faces and cried a few of my own.
As July 4th approaches and we ready to celebrate our freedom, I’ll be remembering all my favorites again. And they will be embodied in every man or woman who stood during that song. And many more heroes who could not.