Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Song for our veterans.

I wish our nation were more worthy of the sacrifice made by our men and women in uniform. By that I mean I wish we were as appreciative as we should be of our freedoms and what they are for, and more grateful for the many blessings we enjoy.

These days the only freedoms anyone seems to care about are those involving sex, drugs, and nudity. These are interesting, no doubt, but that’s not what builds up the strength of the people or ensures a proper political system.
But election day’s over, so put that aside for now.

I was able to get to last year’s Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan, at least for a little while, and enjoyed hearing some of the military bands. I’ll take a military or school marching band any day over a dancing musical act or a bunch of people singing to prerecorded crap. Not just because nine times out of ten “Imagine” will be on the crap sound track, but that is a consideration.
That got me to thinking about the great songs of our armed forces: “Anchors Aweigh,” “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” “The Marines’ Hymn,” “Semper Paratus,” “The U.S. Air Force,” and of course “Heave Ho! My Lads, Heave Ho!”* These are pretty awesome. I got to wondering if the guys ever got into bar fights over who had the best anthem. Well, I thought, it’s not like these guys are drafted to be music scholars: “Your fight song sounds like atonal weasel farts composed for Castrato!” “Oh yeah? Well, your song is as Prestissimo as you guys beating cheeks con moto when the shooting starts!” And then things get all fisty.

Of COURSE they get into fistfights over who has the best anthem. These guys get into fistfights about everything. I once knew a former Navy man who’d been stationed in San Diego for some time, and every weekend they’d get into fights with Marines. “F---g jarheads don’t get their stripe until they beat up a f---g swabbie,” was how he put it.
So on this Veterans Day I salute our guys, and ask please, don’t fight each other today, all right? We need you all, and not with friendly-fire beer-blasted bone breaks or in MP-issue cuffs. You can start punching each other again on Wednesday. You all have excellent songs, really, so fight over something important, like football.

*United States Merchant Marine. Yes, really.

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