Veteran's Day -- "Celebration of America"
    by John Cech

It's Veteran's Day today, our national holiday that commemorates the end of World War I, on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh month, of the eleventh day in 1918.

A new cd for young people, "Celebration of America," serves to remind us of why it is so impotant to remember all the men and women who have made such sacrifices for our country in World War I and all the other wars in our history that have claimed and touched so many lives.

In the Revolutionary War, for example, the American soldiers were considered by the British to be such "doodles" -- just a bunch of country bumpkins -- that a mocking song emerged about us. As the liner notes for this CD explain, it is believed that General Washington had his army sing "Yankee Doodle" while he was accepting the British surrender at Yorktown. "Celebration of America" includes one of the most famous versions of that patriotic ditty, sung with obvious relish by Jimmy Cagney:

Add more than a dozen other songs, and this CD becomes a musical holiday for your family. It includes Souza's rousing "Stars and Stripes Forever," Randy Newman's heart-felt "Follow the Flag," the Weavers famous redition of Woody Guthrie's hymn to America, "This Land is Your Land," and Samuel Francis Smith's "America (My Country Tis of Thee)" which, though it was written in 1831, has the dignity and grace to move us still today.

Copyright 2002 John Cech

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Monday, 28-Oct-2002 21:04:38 EST

"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."