SONGS for VETERANS DAY (patriotic & critiques, plus songs from different veteran and veterans’ family experiences):
- Paradise by Craig Morgan (country): https://youtu.be/f8tn020YucU
- Just Came Home by Darryl Worley (country): https://youtu.be/KwpO8Q1u4Ss
- Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen (rock): https://youtu.be/EPhWR4d3FJQ
- America by Neil Diamond (rock/pop): https://youtu.be/wTSLRbm8L9E
- Dear Uncle Sam by Loretta Lynn (countrry): https://youtu.be/ZwOhZufXYso
- Letters from Home by John Michael Montgomery (country): https://youtu.be/FIG9C3n-SPc
- Live Like a Warrior by Matisyahu (Jewish pop/rap): https://youtu.be/p53pDNodxHE
- Made in America by Kanye West, Jay-Z & Frank Ocean (rap): https://youtu.be/HWaboD46fTg
- God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood (country): https://youtu.be/-KoXt9pZLGM
- American Soldier by Toby Keith (country): https://youtu.be/DWrMeBR8W-c
- Soldier by Michael Dion (pop + /civil rights sampling): https://youtu.be/wcfYMLCW_b0
- Living in America by James Brown (rock): https://youtu.be/c5BL4RNFr58
- America by Simon & Garfunkel (folk): https://youtu.be/Eo2ZsAOlvEM
- Ragged Od Flag by Johnny Cash (country): https://youtu.be/XfzJ8UBr-c0
- Pink Houses by John Mellencamp (country): https://youtu.be/qOfkpu6749w
- ‘Merican by Descendants (punk rock): https://youtu.be/WLkRxVYdUko
- Still a Soldier by Trace Adkins (country): https://youtu.be/2WA10dETkF8
- Blowin in the Wind by Bob Dylan (folk rock): https://youtu.be/MMFj8uDubsE
- Star Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendrix (rock version): https://youtu.be/sjzZh6-h9fM
- I Still Believe by Tussing Elementary (childrens song): https://youtu.be/c8mAfn5iDjI
- On Veterans Day by Karl Hitzemann (childrens song): https://youtu.be/sit5ljSVD6k
- American by Lana Del Rey (country): https://youtu.be/D7agM5nWJJI
Excerpt from Second Inaugural Address — Abraham Lincoln
… public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation … Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully … With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Justice for Veterans and the Vulnerable: A Veterans Day Reflection (excerpt) — Bruce Epperly
… Instituted in gratitude for victory in World War I, Woodrow Wilson made the following affirmation regarding Armistice Day, the precursor to Veterans Day: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
While such words can be seen as platitudes, they remind us that “peace” and “justice” should be the goal of all national policies. They also remind us, in a time of growing individualism and me-first politics and economics, that national health depends on sacrifice — not just in times of war, but in our civic responsibility, human rights, and tax paying. Ironically, some of the people who most vigorously wave our flag are the most self-interested when it comes to our nation’s responsibility to support its most vulnerable citizens.
Veterans Day is about gratitude and stewardship. On Veterans Day, we proclaim our gratitude to those whose service in the military has secured our freedoms through the years. Whether or not we approve of our nation’s foreign policy, we need to support the everyday people — mostly working class, often minority — who fight our nation’s wars. We need to say “thank you.” But our thanksgiving should lead to action, both in support of the well-being of veterans, especially those who have been injured or traumatized by war, and in our own commitment to the common good and our nation’s care for its most vulnerable citizens, those for whom our soldiers sacrifice.
It is easy, as the prophets and Jesus both noted, to speak of sacrifice, without making the commitment to sacrifice for the well-being of our neighbors. When Veterans Day is understood in the spirit of the biblical tradition, it reminds us that there is no such thing as rugged individualism or absolute property rights; everything is a gift from God to be used for the well-being of others as well as our own kin. Sacrifice is not just the responsibility of veterans; it is required of all who would follow the way of Jesus. In the spirit of Wilson’s proclamation, justice and peace should guide our national and personal decision-making. Accordingly, remembrance of the sacrifices made by veterans challenges us to ask: Do our actions promote the overall well-being of our nation’s peoples and this good earth? Do we focus on our own welfare to the exclusion of our neighbor? What are we willing to sacrifice so that others may live abundantly? God’s vision of abundant life is always about “us” as well as “mine.”
So, on Veterans Day, let us be grateful and let our gratitude inspire us to generosity and commitment to the well-being of our nation, most especially its most vulnerable citizens and veterans who suffer the ravages of war. Then, our love of nation will take us beyond nationalism or self-interest to the affirmation of our role as God’s partners in healing the earth. ###
The Veteran — Dorothy Parker
When I was young and bold and strong,
Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong!
My plume on high, my flag unfurled,
I rode away to right the world.
“Come out, you dogs, and fight!” said I,
And wept there was but once to die.
But I am old; and good and bad
Are woven in a crazy plaid.
I sit and stay, “The world is so;
And he is wise who lets it go.
A battle lost, a battle won—
The difference is small, my son.”
Inertia rides and riddles me;
The which is called Philosophy.
To a Soldier in Hospital – Winifred M. Letts
Courage came to you with your boyhood’s grace
Of ardent life and limb.
Each day new dangers steeled you to the test,
To ride, to climb, to swim.
Your hot blood taught you carelessness of death
With every breath.
So when you went to play another game
You could not but be brave:
An Empire’s team, a rougher football field,
The end—perhaps your grave.
What matter? On the winning of a goal
You staked your soul.
Yes, you wore courage as you wore your youth
With carelessness and joy.
But in what Spartan school of discipline
Did you get patience, boy?
How did you learn to bear this long-drawn pain
And not complain?
Restless with throbbing hopes, with thwarted aims,
Impulsive as a colt,
How do you lie here month by weary month
Helpless, and not revolt?
What joy can these monotonous days afford
Here in a ward?
Yet you are merry as the birds in spring,
Or feign the gaiety,
Lest those who dress and tend your wound each day
Should guess the agony.
Lest they should suffer—this the only fear
You let draw near.
Greybeard philosophy has sought in books
And argument this truth,
That man is greater than his pain, but you
Have learnt it in your youth.
You know the wisdom taught by Calvary
Death would have found you brave, but braver still
You face each lagging day,
A merry Stoic, patient, chivalrous,
Divinely kind and gay.
You bear your knowledge lightly, graduate
Of unkind Fate.
Careless philosopher, the first to laugh,
The latest to complain.
Unmindful that you teach, you taught me this
In your long fight with pain:
Since God made man so good—here stands my creed—
God’s good indeed.
What Governments Say to Women (excerpt) — Alice Duer Miller
I. In Time of War
Help us. Your country needs you;
Show that you love her,
Give her your men to fight,
Ay, even to fall;
The fair, free land of your birth,
Set nothing above her,
Not husband nor son,
She must come first of all…
Not to Keep — Robert Frost
They sent him back to her. The letter came
Saying… and she could have him. And before
She could be sure there was no hidden ill
Under the formal writing, he was in her sight—
Living.— They gave him back to her alive—
How else? They are not known to send the dead—
And not disfigured visibly. His face?—
His hands? She had to look—to ask,
“What was it, dear?” And she had given all
And still she had all—they had—they the lucky!
Wasn’t she glad now? Everything seemed won,
And all the rest for them permissible ease.
She had to ask, “What was it, dear?”
Yet not enough. A bullet through and through,
High in the breast. Nothing but what good care
And medicine and rest—and you a week,
Can cure me of to go again.” The same
Grim giving to do over for them both.
She dared no more than ask him with her eyes
How was it with him for a second trial.
And with his eyes he asked her not to ask.
They had given him back to her, but not to keep.
Thanks — Yusef Komunyakaa
Thanks for the tree
between me & a sniper’s bullet.
I don’t know what made the grass
sway seconds before the Viet Cong
raised his soundless rifle.
Some voice always followed,
telling me which foot
to put down first.
Thanks for deflecting the ricochet
against that anarchy of dusk.
I was back in San Francisco
wrapped up in a woman’s wild colors,
causing some dark bird’s love call
to be shattered by daylight
when my hands reached up
& pulled a branch away
from my face. Thanks
for the vague white flower
that pointed to the gleaming metal
reflecting how it is to be broken
like mist over the grass,
as we played some deadly
game for blind gods.
What made me spot the monarch
writhing on a single thread
tied to a farmer’s gate,
holding the day together
like an unfingered guitar string,
is beyond me. Maybe the hills
grew weary & leaned a little in the heat.
Again, thanks for the dud
hand grenade tossed at my feet
outside Chu Lai. I’m still
falling through its silence.
I don’t know why the intrepid
sun touched the bayonet,
but I know that something
stood among those lost trees
& moved only when I moved.
Battleground (excerpt) — William Trowbridge
It showed the War was as my father said:
boredom flanked by terror, a matter of keeping
low and not freezing. “You wore your helmet
square,” he said, not “at some stupid angle,
like that draft-dodger Wayne,” who died
so photogenically in The Sands of Iwa Jima ….
Man is not the lord of beings. Man is the shepherd of Being. — Martin Heidegger
Between every two pines there is a doorway to a new world. — John Muir
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. — Lao Tzu
A traveller I am, and a navigator, and everyday I discover a new region within my soul. — Khalil Gibran
I’d finally come to understand what it had been: a yearning for a way out, when actually what I had wanted to find was a way in. ― Cheryl Strayed, Wild
It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. — Sir Edmund Hillary
For the Shepherd Who Is Also the Path the Sun Makes in Daytime (excerpt) — Komal Mathew
… A good shepherd angles a lion’s eye,
traps gazelles in dry fields,
copies a cheetah’s spots one leg at a time.
A good shepherd does not give you stones
when you ask for toast,
does not ask you to work without a burning bush
—but owns a gate, uses a gate,
pulls the weeds and leaves the wheat on an altar of choices.
A good shepherd is a prince of peace
when terror finds its full echo,
a creator in the wild where a predator,
providentially, becomes prey.
Essentials for the journey and styles of leadership:
- 10 Essentials by Appalachian Mountain Club
- 10 Essentials by rei.com
- Styles of leadership by indeed.com
Questions to consider (from Psalm 23 and John 8):
- What helps keep you on track, headed in the preferred direction? How do you best navigate, and what do you experience as obstacles to the Way you want to live?
- What are your essential tools or resources to bring along on a journey? What’s on your packing list?
- Have you ever gotten lost? How did you cope? What did you learn from that experience? What helped and what didn’t you need?
- When do you allow someone else to guide or lead you? When do you allow someone else to drive or pilot? Does the person doing the driving, piloting or navigating decide the route and destination? Who is in control and when does this change?
- Who have been important guides, navigators and shepherds in your life? To whom do you serve as a shepherd, guide, coach, mentor, pilot?
- When do you choose to lead, when do you choose to follow?
- What style of leadership (see guide above) do you implement? To what style do you respond?
I AM Songs (including recommendations from members of JCC community)
- Complex Person by The Pretenders (alt rock)
- I Am What I Am from La Cage aux Folles (Broadway)
- Who Am I Anyway? From Chorus Line performed as a 40th anniversary tribute by Hamilton Cast (Broadway)
- I Am a Rock by Simon & Garfunkel (folk rock)
- People Like Us by Kelly Clarkson (pop?)
- Who I’m Meant to Be by Anthem Lights (ballad)
- Here I Am by Dolly Parton, Sia (country)
- Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been by ReliantK (indie)
- Ready To Be Myself by David Dunn (Christian)
SHEPHERD & GUIDE Songs
- The Lonely Shepherd by André Rieu & Gheorghe Zamfir (Romanian instrumental)
- The Road Less Traveled by Lauren Alaina (country)
- Shepherd by Amanda Cook (Christian)
- Guide My Feet by Shine Curriculum (Christian spiritual)
- Shepherd by City Alight (Christian)
- Shepherd of my Soul by Rivers & Robots (Christian) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4S8ne-xU0E
- Spirit Lead Me by Michael Ketterer & Influence Music (Christian)
- The One I’m Running To by 7th Time (Christian)
- Wherever I Go by Dan Bremnes (Christian Pop)
I Am: Trail Guide and Navigator
I was no longer following a trail. I was learning to follow myself. ― Aspen Matis
The compass rose is nothing but a star with an infinite number of rays pointing in all directions.It is the one true and perfect symbol of the universe. And it is the one most accurate symbol of you.Spread your arms in an embrace, throw your head back, and prepare to receive and send coordinates of being. For, at last you know—you are the navigator, the captain, and the ship. — Vera Nazarian
I do not believe there is any such sixth sense. A man with a good sense of direction is, to me, quite simply an able pathfinder – a natural navigator – somebody who can find his way by the use of the five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch – the senses he was born with) developed by the blessing of experience and the use of intelligence. All that pathfinder needs is his senses and knowledge of how to interpret nature’s signs. — Harold Gatty
It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on … on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn’t have to know. That is was enough to trust that what I’d done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life – like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be. ― Cheryl Strayed
I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
When God walks, he leaves a trail of stardust in his wake. When I walk, I have to leave a trail of breadcrumbs so that I can find my way home. ― Anthony T. Hincks
Worshipping the Lord means giving Him the place that he must have; worshipping the Lord means stating, believing – not only by our words – that He alone truly guides our lives; worshipping the Lord means that we are convinced before Him that He is the only God, the God of our lives, the God of our history. — Pope Francis
The only passion that guides me is for the truth… I look at everything from this point of view. — Che Guevara
As we go about our daily routines, our internal monologue narrates our experience. Our self-talk guides our behavior and influences the way we interact with others. It also plays a major role in how you feel about yourself, other people, and the world in general. — Amy Morin
Reason guides but a small part of man, and the rest obeys feeling, true or false, and passion, good or bad. — Joseph Roux
God is never on the sidelines of His children’s lives. He goes before them. He leads them, guides them, protects and saves them. — Monica Johnson
It’s a great responsibility before God, the judge who guides us, who draws us to truth and good, and in this sense the church must unmask evil, rendering present the goodness of God, rendering present his truth, the truly infinite for which we are thirsty. — Pope Benedict XVI
We were not meant to mask ourselves before our fellow-beings, but to be, through our human forms, true and clear utterances of the spirit within. Since God gave us these bodies, they must have been given us as guides to Him and revealers of Him. — Lucy Larcom
It is thought and feeling which guides the universe, not deeds. — Edgar Cayce
On The Trail
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way. — Dr. Seuss
If you face the rest of your life with the spirit you show on the trail, it will have no choice but to yield the same kind of memories and dreams. ― Adrienne Hall
Failure is a signpost on the trail to success. ― Phillip Gary Smith
Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care. — Earl Shaffer
Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking. You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits. — Cindy Ross
After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value. — G.M. Trevelyan
A walk in nature walks the soul back home. — Mary Davis
Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it. — Andy Rooney
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. — John Burroughs
Don’t go to sleep now, for you have been awakened. Don’t shut your eyes, or you will put out the light. Stay awake to the power and force that guides and protects your divine essence. — Debbie Ford
Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain. – Jack Kerouac
In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous. – Aristotle
In every walk with nature, one received far more than he seeks. – John Muir
Hiking is a bit like life: The journey only requires you to put one foot in front of the other…again and again and again. And if you allow yourself the opportunity to be present throughout the entirety of the trek, you will witness beauty every step of the way, not just at the summit. — Unattributed
There really is no correct way to hike the trail, and anyone who insists that there is ought not to worry so much about other people’s experiences. Hikers need to hike the trail that’s right for them… ― Adrienne Hall
I Am: Shepherd
Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. ― Rumi
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty. — Abraham Lincoln
Shepherds lift their heads, not to gaze at a new light but to hear angels. ― Richelle E. Goodrich
The seaman tells stories of winds, the ploughman of bulls; the soldier details his wounds, the shepherd his sheep. — Laurence J. Peter
… we’re lazy when it comes to doing things that are good for us; we also want someone to follow – someone to go first, for them to take the risks thereby smoothing our path; a sort of guarantee that we won’t stumble. Ironically, we also want to be followed in some way; we are both sheep and shepherd. ― Renée Paule
There was a shepherd the other day … who had in his eyes that reminiscence of horizons which makes the eyes of shepherds and of mountaineers different from the eyes of other men. ― Hilaire Belloc
I don’t want to get too philosophical, but in a sense, you’re given this gift, this sort of creative force in you, and I think everyone has it, and it’s completely unique to you. And you as a person have a little bit of a responsibility as its shepherd if you choose to incorporate that into your life. — Ze Frank
Too many leaders act as if the sheep… their people… are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep. — Ken Blanchard
It is the duty of a good shepherd to shear his sheep, not to skin them. — attributed to Tiberius
How will you come boldly into the presence of God, of Love? What does it mean, for you, to trust that you will receive the help you require, if not the help you desire, even if you cannot possibly merit it? Have you ever felt such a moment, being utterly loved and supported? Have you ever offered that sort of love and support to someone else? What sort of grace, or help, do you need?
How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root,
and in that freedom bold.
— William Wordsworth (excerpt)
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute –
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated —
Begin it, and the work will be completed!
— John Anster (excerpt) translation of Part One of
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s“Faust”
Dream a big dream, a bold dream. Don’t play conservatively between the 40 yard lines. Don’t just play it safe. — Robert Kraft
Fortune befriends the bold. — Emily Dickinson
Be bold, be brave enough to be your true self. — Queen Latifah
Shine like the whole universe is yours. — Rumi