Friday, May 23, 2008

Thus We Honor Our Heroes

In 1971-72 I attended the Graduate School of Public Affairs in Albany, NY. There I met Lt. Col. Sandro Barone (USAF ret.) who was the assistant dean for the school. He was a great guy. I have never forgot what he told me.
When America stops being good, America stops being strong.
This weekend, let us praise the GOD of Glory, the LORD of Battle, Our Rock and Our Salvation, for the millions of good men and women who have so faithfully served our Country, even unto death.

Lay Me Doone (Sgt. MacKenzie)

We Were Soldiers Once, And Young

Soldier Music

US Air Force Tribute

Marine Tribute

Soldier Tribute

US Navy Tribute

The Women Behind The Heroes

The lament, "Sgt MacKenzie", is written and sung by Joe Kilna Mackenzie, son of Maria McCabe and the late Alex McCabe of Provost Christie Drive, Rothes.

Joe wrote the song in memory of his Grandfather, a Moray man from Bishopmill, who along with hundreds of other Seaforth Highlanders from the Elgin/Rothes area went to fight in the great war.

Sgt Charles Stuart MacKenzie was bayoneted to death at, the age of 35, while defending one of his badly injured colleagues in the hand to hand fighting of the trenches.

Film director Randall Wallace, who also won an Oscar for his screenplay of Braveheart, received a CD of the album and was haunted by the emotion and spirit of reverence captured in "Sgt MacKenzie. He arranged for Joe and band mate Donnie MacNeil, who played the pipes, to re-record 'Sgt MacKenzie' with the backing of an 80 piece orchestra and the WestPoint Military Choir at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. The lament has been introduced into the film ["We Were Soldiers Once" starring Mel Gibson ~ sig94] during key scenes with Joe singing on his own and on the last track of the film with the orchestra and choir.

The above is from the Sgt. MacKenzie website - this is the most haunting dirge I have ever heard. It speaks to the sacrifice and the love for each other born in the heart of the common soldier, for Sgt. Charles Stuart MacKenzie did not die fighting for God and Country. He died defending his friend.

John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

This lament has brought me to tears on more than one occasion. That's why I put it at the top of this post.

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