The Music and Meaning of Memorial Day
by Anne French
We enter Memorial Day weekend, that time of remembrance and thanks for all who have given their lives in battle in order to preserve our democracy and our country. These are the kinds of phrases we will hear repeated over and over for the next three days, even as we continue fighting two wars of questionable purpose and at great expense to the nation. Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings was used as the theme for the movie, Platoon, seen by millions of viewers, and exposing the terrible truth of war. I believe the gut-wrenching emotions produced by the Adagio continue to capture the essence of all war. We commemorate, but we do not celebrate.
"...And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind." .... from the poem, Remember Them, written January 1, 1970 by Major Michael Davis O'Donnell, Dak To, South Vietnam