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Monday, December 4, 2023

Transitions – Music that honors our Veterans


Music evokes strong feelings; I love it when the Naperville Men’s Glee Club or Naperville Municipal Band performs the Armed Forces Medley. I always want to stand for “Anchors Away.” Yeah, my husband was a Navy man.

At a recent Veteran’s funeral, my husband remarked that “Taps” was played beautifully and evoked a lot of emotion. Having a live bugler is a tribute to Bugles Across America. This volunteer organization has over 4,000 members who ensure that Taps are played in person, not from canned music.

Many of you have heard of the Honor Flights, an organization that celebrates America’s Veterans by inviting them to view the memorials in our nation’s Capital. Veterans are flown free to Washington, D.C., with a buddy or by themselves, usually for a day, to see the monuments honoring our men and women. I’ve seen the pictures and videos, but in August, I saw over 100 Veterans returning home from D.C. There were hundreds of well-wishers and a band at baggage claim away from TSA returning flights.

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At the gate were bagpipers, 60 young sailors from Great Lakes, and a handful of Chiefs, Officers, and Marines. Rousing cheers met veterans in wheelchairs and walking, and the musical Ooh-rah, the Marine battle cry, yelled in cadence. 

Speaking about music, I recently heard that Taylor Swift co-wrote a song in 2020 titled “Epiphany.” Written from the perspective of her grandfather, who served as a Marine Corps medic during the harrowing Battle of Guadalcanal. That she would write it years after her grandfather’s death showed that the sacrifices of Archie Swift were not lost on his famous granddaughter.

Music uplifts us, and music that honors and respects our Veterans is frequently poignant.

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Barbara Blomquist
Barbara Blomquist
Barbara Blomquist is a Naperville resident, wife, mother, quilter, and screenwriter. Contact her at BWBLomquist@aol.com.


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