July 4, 2021 - #4790 Music & the Spoken Word

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at

This encore performance of Music & the Spoken Word has been specially selected for airing while the Choir and Orchestra are practicing social distancing. It contains a new Spoken Word delivered by Lloyd Newell.


Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Richard Elliott
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“This Is a Great Country” from Mr. President
Music and Lyrics: Irving Berlin
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“God Bless America”1
Music and Lyrics: Irving Berlin
Arrangement: Roy Ringwald

“Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean” (organ solo)
Music: Thomas á Becket and David Shaw
Arrangement: Richard Elliott

“This Land Is Your Land”1
Music and Lyrics: Woody Guthrie
Arrangement: Percy Faith; adapted by Michael Davis

“God Bless the USA”
Music and Lyrics: Lee Greenwood
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”
Music: Traditional hymn tune
Lyrics: Samuel F. Smith
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Grand Old Flag”
Music and Lyrics: George M. Cohan
Arrangement: Arthur Harris

  1. On the CD Spirit of America and in the CD set Encore Collection.

The Spoken Word

Remembering Pointe du Hoc

Written by Heidi Swinton

I am standing today at the World War II memorial at Pointe du Hoc on the northern coast of France. In the early hours of June 6, 1944—better known to us as D-Day—American rangers scaled these 100-foot sheer cliffs. Their mission was to seize German artillery to clear the way for the invasion later that day of the Normandy beaches below. It was a key element of the strategy to liberate Europe after four years of Nazi occupation.

The soldiers—dubbed Rudder’s Rangers after their commander, Lieutenant Colonel James E. Rudder—had trained for this dangerous mission for weeks on the cliffs along the British Isle of Wight. Despite their preparation, however, it seemed like a suicide mission. After reaching the shore amid a flurry of enemy gunfire and grenades, the rangers raced across the beach, shot rope ladders over the cliff top, and began to climb. Of the 225 rangers who came ashore, only 90 were still able to fight by the end of the day.

In 1984, United States president Ronald Reagan spoke from this site to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. Also present were 62 of those courageous rangers. “You risked everything here,” Reagan said to them. “Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here?…Somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.”1

Our national character is made of these qualities, and because of what happened on this spot in 1944, we might say that these qualities helped preserve our nation. We owe much to the faith, belief, loyalty, and love that have inspired heroic acts throughout our history.

Just a few miles from this sacred place is the Normandy American Cemetery. It features more than 9,000 graves and a wall inscribed with the names of 1,557 missing soldiers, most of whom came ashore on D-Day. The site is a solemn reminder that heroic acts come at a heavy price—something to remember when we fly our flag, march in our parades, and pursue our dreams in this land of liberty.

  1. “Remarks at a Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-day” (June 6, 1984),