On the Fourth

With the fourth following on a Monday, this year’s holiday has given many a three-day weekend – and I imagine more than a few people took Friday off to make it a four-day weekend. This weekend will provide time for fireworks, parades, grilling, water activities, and countless time-honored traditions.

Whether it is one of the many patriotic songs as God Bless America, the Star Spangled Banner, or America the Beautiful … and no matter if the artist is Lee Greenwood, Celine Dion, Toby Keith, or Kate Smith – there are many songs that touch us not only on this day, but each day.

I was in college in 1973  when two Canadians step forward to defend America. Gordon Sinclair of CFRB in Toronto wrote a newspaper editorial. Later CKLW’s Byron MacGregor read the editorial and eventually recorded it with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra – and that recording sold 3.5 million records with proceeds going to the American Red Cross.

Although the setting of those words were in a different context as today, they still carry a strong meaning. Have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July – and don’t forget the intent of the day.

On Memorial Day Weekend 2011

Memorial Day is on one of those three-day weekends that all of us enjoy. Although most of us will spend much of the extra time with fun and fellowship, let us not forget to take the time to remember those who are serving, have served, and died serving.

Your time may be somber and reflective, yet it can also be joyous and uplifting. Below are two wonderful versions of the Armed Forces Melody – one by a men’s chorus and one by a pops orchestra. The late Erich Kunzel, the King of Pops and longtime conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, leads the latter. Although we miss him, his memory also lives on through his concerts on the Washington Mall. Enjoy and be proud.