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May 26, 2019 - #4680 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 standard time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at


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

“The Star-Spangled Banner”
Music: John Stafford Smith
Lyrics: Francis Scott Key
Arrangement: Frank Asper

“Because of the Brave”
Music and Lyrics: Lowell Alexander and Steve Amerson
Arrangement: Bob Krogstad

“America the Beautiful”
Music: Samuel A. Ward
Lyrics: Katherine Lee Bates
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“The Washington Post March” (Organ solo)
Music: John Philip Sousa
Arrangement: Joseph Linger

“This Is My Country”
Music: Al Jacobs
Lyrics: Don Raye
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“The Pledge of Allegiance”1
Music: Charles Osgood
Lyrics: Francis Bellamy
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“On This Day”
Music and Lyrics: Charles Strouse
Arrangement: Mac Huff

“A Tribute to the Armed Services”
Medley arranged by Lloyd Larson

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

The Spoken Word

“The Emblem of the Land We Love”

The flag of the United States has flown on the earth and the moon, on the home front and the battlefront, in conflict and in peace. Something stirs within us when we see this red, white, and blue “emblem of the land [we] love, the home of the free and the brave.”

For many of us, that stirring is especially deep when we remember those who have died defending what the flag represents. As one unknown patriot wrote, “Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” Today we honor the heroic men and women throughout history who have defended our nation. Without their sacrifice, the flag would be little more than a colorful piece of fabric. Because of their sacrifice, the flag continues to proclaim to all the world the principles of freedom, equality, liberty, and justice for all.

Of course, we all know that no nation is perfect. And yet our love and respect for our country seems to deepen as we work to overcome our shortcomings and mistakes, past and present. What makes any country great is the principles of its founding, its boundless potential, and its constant striving to live up to those precepts.

The same is true of each of us. After all, a country is made up of individuals—all less than perfect and all with great potential. In a sense each of us is, like our beloved flag, an emblem of this land we love. Our country is only as strong as each individual who serves and sacrifices for its core institutions: for home and family, for neighborhoods and communities, for church and state.  

And so this Memorial Day when we see the flag of freedom wave, let us remember what it represents—not just a land but a people. It waves for the sons and daughters who gave their all. It waves for the promise of liberty they died to protect. It waves for every patriot who has made this country the land we love. We honor their memories, this day and always.

1. George M. Cohan, “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” 1906.