Saturday, June 6, 2009

Honoring D-Day Vets: America the Beautiful in Cherokee

I've been backed up this week, but I wanted to get this video out for D-Day, or at least by Flag Day, two holidays the mass media has forgotten. I grew up in a community where everyone's dad was a WW2 veteran, including mine. He piloted a landing craft at Normandy until it was shelled out from under him. It was 30 years before he could speak out loud about what he went through that day.

I mention that because we are surrounded by veterans who keep so much to themselves about what they went through... Vietnam, the Balkans, Desert Storm, and now Iraq and Afghanistan. I live up the road from Ft. Campbell, KY, which ordered a stand-down last week to deal with the epidemic of veteran suicides.

"Support The Troops" is more than just a slogan on a car magnet! It means reaching out to the vets, helping them to find the help they need. In my role as a pastor, I'm dealing more and more with current and former military personnel and contractors who are carrying, as one admitted this week, "more baggage than the Titanic." And we all know what happened to the Titanic.

Four years ago, I was asked to translate America the Beautiful
into Cherokee for a patriotic event. The lyric sheet is posted in both the student and non-student sections of . I'll have a teaching-speed version with lyrics posted soon.

If you start learning and singing today, D-Day, you should have it pretty clear by June 16, Flag Day.

Like our nation, our language will survive only as a result of our work and sacrifice. If the British had won the Revolutionary War, we'd all be speaking English today. (Yes, that's a joke).

Sermon's over. Enjoy the weekend. But please remember our language and remember our veterans.

Brian Wilkes

PS: For those of you who only know the history you see on the screen, it was the battle at the beginning of "Saving Private Ryan."

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