Saturday, November 11, 2017

Rylee Preston - Soldier's Light

When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve.
- Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms
There is a reason that we honor veterans, and why we describe what they do for us as "sacrifice".  They and their families give up the things that we take for granted - family dinners together, a baby's first steps or words, soccer games, school recitals.  Reading to your kids at night.  Hugs.  Wiping tears away.

Today is the day that we think on these sacrifices, and on the men and women who made them.  And on their families, who sacrifice with them.  As the saying goes, all gave some and some gave all and the families share fully in this giving.

Today is the day that we remember this.  Some remember it in a more spectacular fashion than most -  Rylee Preston is one of those.  She was 15 when she wrote this song, a song that captures that sacrifice.  Her Dad is in the Army and so she knew the sacrifices all too well.  But she didn't write this for her, or her Dad.  She was inspired by how effected her Dad was at the combat death of a friend's son.  She put pen to paper and the song suddenly took on a life of its own.

It touched people in a very intimate way.  She was invited to sing it at the "Ride For The Fallen" motorcycle rally:
I was back stage,  and Skip told me she had the entire audience (Bikers, a lot of them Vet’s) in tears, and holding up cell phones recording – it was a moment I cant describe for me, because what started out as words on paper became a song, video and tribute. And to watch Rylee sing it live (very nervous her first time in front of a real audience) bring them to tears.
A bunch of black leather clad, shaved head biker dudes wearing chains and skulls - in tears.  Not so surprising, since most bikers have big hearts and love their country, and a lot served themselves and know full well the sacrifices.

And so this song seems entirely appropriate for today, Veteran's Day.  As you go about your day and think about the service and sacrifice that our Veterans have made to this Republic, remember SPC. Justin Rollins and all who served.
Heroism is latent in every human soul - However humble or unknown, they (the veterans) have renounced what are accounted pleasures and cheerfully undertaken all the self-denials - privations, toils, dangers, sufferings, sicknesses, mutilations, life-long hurts and losses, death itself - for some great good, dimly seen but dearly held.
- Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

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