Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The War: Norah Jones' American Anthem

There are a few things in life that I'm passionate about.  Early on, our parents taught us and set an example for their children that your faith, family and friends should be priorities.  Church and fellowship with friends and neighbors went hand-in-hand.
 We went to (two!) family reunions every year while I was growing up.  I cherish my family...my wife and my immediate family especially.  Work is a priority (but further down the list) and I learned also to take care of yourself and your family monetarily.  Additionally, without being overly patriotic, it was well known that a love of our country existed in our house; after all, we knew Daddy had been in the Marines. With that base to stand on, I also became very interested in music; all types of music that are entertaining and that are written and performed from the heart, not just to make it to Billboard lists.  Again, there was a wide variety that I heard growing up.  Everything from church hymns, to Elvis Presley to Sweet Emma and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band to 80's rock.  I became interested enough to attempt to learn how to play drums and somewhat succeeded in teaching myself to play, and have played for a little over 20 years now.  In the last 10 years or so, I also became very passionate about World War II history and veterans, particularly my father and his experiences.

Taking this background into account , it is not surprising that I can fully invest in the song (and video) for Norah Jones "American Anthem."  It is a simple, well-written song that gets to the heart of what I believe Ken Burns wanted to portray in his documentary The War.  While the song and the documentary are a few years old, I am still of the opinion people should take note of Mr. Burn's work, and also of this song.  One of the criticisms Ken Burns took regarding The War was that it made it look like America and thus only Americans won the war.  This blog could be charged as guilty of that at times, but in the same manner as Ken Burns took his documentary, I have a fairly narrow window that I focus on.  Mr. Burns made no apologies about his story line; it was simply the war from personal accounts of only a few men and women from the United States.  There would be no argument from me that it was the Allies that won the war.  Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, France, and many other countries worked together with the United States and sacrificed many lives to get the job done.  But, I focus on American veterans and American stories regarding World War II, because that is one of my passions.

According to YouTube, only around 1,200 people have viewed this video.  I hope any and all who read this will share the video with others.  I don't care if you share this blog post or not, but please share the video.  We are losing World War II veterans at an alarming rate.  Before we know it, there will be news reports of the last American World War II veteran(s) still alive.  Take five minutes out of your day and watch the video, and listen to the lyrics.

To learn more about "The War" visit: http://www.pbs.org/thewar/

+Remember World War II