The National Memorial Day Concert is an American tradition honoring the military service of our men and women in uniform, their families, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Did you watch the 90-minute concert live on Sunday, May 28th, 8:00 p.m. ET?
If you missed it, it’s not too late to watch the video at http://www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert/watch-2017-show-live/. The show is well worth watching, with songs and stories and film clips that will bring tears to your eyes and touch your heart.
You’ll hear such stellar performers as Russell Watson singing “You Raise Me Up,” Renee Fleming singing “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” Vanessa Williams singing “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” and Christopher Jackson singing “America the Beautiful.” John Ondrasik, better known as Five for Fighting, sings “All For One,” Scotty McCreery sings “The Dash.” Auli’i Cravalho (“Moana”) also sings beautifully.
Hosted by Joe Mantegna and Laurence Fishburne, this year’s impressive lineup also includes General Colin Powell, Gary Sinise, John Ortiz, and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Some takeaways from the speakers: Soldiers fight for what they believe in. The wounds of war are painful and disabling, and our soldiers and their families have sacrificed so much. To a disabled person, even just a smile or holding the door for them means a great deal. The stories I heard of courage and family support brought tears to my eyes. Seriously wounded folks who prayed every day. One speaker who’d had 70 surgeries from war injuries said, “With faith and my family, I’m pushing hard. We don’t see the disabilities any more, we see the possibilities.” Music and neuro-therapy combined hold great promise for healing.
To all of you who have so proudly served our country, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You lift me up. You are the wind beneath my wings. Because of you, I safely rest. God is nigh.
Because, as one speaker eloquently put it, sharing helps all of us heal, I want to share a song I’ve written to honor a hero. So I am posting the Angel Hero song – lyrics by me, music by talented Honolulu musician John Valentine (uncle of Bruno Mars), demo by Azalea Studios in Nashville. I want to add it to your Memorial Day musical mix because the song reflects the theme of Memorial Day so well – to honor and remember the freedom-loving heroes who “bravely fought the devil in his den.” Who died protecting us. As is stated in John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Although the lyrics were originally written to honor a (firefighter) hero who lost his life protecting others, they apply equally to our deep-hearted soldier heroes.
You can listen to a clip of the Angel Hero song at the Kwill Books website, which plays on the Angel Hero book trailer at:
FREEDOM LOVER, YOU LEFT THIS LIFE A HERO
YOU BRAVELY FOUGHT THE DEVIL IN HIS DEN
I HONOR YOU, I’M HURTING TOO,
MY HOPE DIED WITH YOU TIL YOU ROSE AGAIN
AT DAWN I SOMETIMES FEEL YOUR SPIRIT KISS
YOUR ANGEL TOUCH TURNS SORROW INTO BLISS
ANGEL HERO, ABOVE THE SAPPHIRE SKY
YOUR TRUE LOVE GIVES ME THE WINGS TO FLY
THROUGH THE DARKEST NIGHT INTO YOUR ARMS AGAIN
STILL MY KNIGHT IN ARMOR, NOW WITH ANGEL WINGS
SHINE YOUR HIGHER LOVE ON ME AND HEAR ME SING
ANGEL HERO, ANGEL HERO, KISSING YOU IN MY DREAMS
IT’S WRITTEN THAT NO MAN HAS GREATER LOVE
THAN HE WHO LAYS HIS LIFE DOWN FOR A FRIEND
I THANK THE LORD YOUR SPIRIT SOARED
YOUR FINAL THOUGHT WAS WANTING JUST TO GIVE
YOU CONQUERED NIGHT TO SHINE IN DAWN’S GOLDEN BLUSH
YOU HEAL ME WITH YOUR AWESOME HOLY TOUCH
MISSING YOU, MISSING YOU,
NO ONE CAN TAKE YOUR PLACE
WANTING YOU, WANTING YOU,
DREAMING WE STILL EMBRACE
ANGEL HERO, ANGEL HERO
YOUR LOVE STILL LIGHTS MY WAY