I’m an Air Force brat. Although I never liked that designation (probably because I was one), I grew up on United States Air Force bases. I was born in Northern California and spent time in four other states “on base” as a kid and around people of every type – military people. My parents were of humble origin in West Virginia and Mississippi and my dad’s promotion through the ranks of the Air Force brought a brand new mobility and ability to travel and meet folks and go to school together, play together on teams, and listen to music together.
So, even though I knew John Denver’s “Country Roads” as a sacred anthem of the WV family, I heard every style of music “on base” and my friends were diverse and yet aligned for purpose in the Air Force. I would never trade that experience of officers and enlisted families, people from every state, social class, ethnic origin, and career path all living and working together. It makes for a worldview of openness to other people, varied opinions, and range of music, as I stress daily: WE ALL LOVE OUR MUSIC – and we can share that music joyfully.
My dad’s favorite music is marching band military music. Not a popular genre. But I love that he loves it and I’m a trumpet player of sorts, so yeah, I like it. Powerful stuff. And through time, a lot of military music has signaled war and coming doom on peoples. But this Memorial Day, I celebrate in peace time with my dad, thirty-year Air Force veteran, and with those who love the United States of America. I happily memorialize the thousands of committed men and women who have given their lives for freedom over the years and around the world. When I hear the big bands or the marching bands play patriotic music for my country, I do celebrate the music itself, important, and the message and meaning embedded in our culture.
I thought I would keep moving along and have a different topic each week, beginning with “A Visible Created World” and then “Music is Important” and then….Music is Important 2, 3, and now 4. It just is completely true that music is vital to our lives and underestimated and overlooked in support and planning and (sometimes) quality execution. So I celebrate all music and will keep doing that until the series plays out. Just yesterday, someone had some hip hop beats playing in the car next to my convertible and my passenger was a trumpet player. I said, “What would be cool would be for you to break out your horn and drop this Spanish style trumpet line over those beats out the car window together with his music bed.” That is the “Music is Important” spirit, fun and shared.