"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

Videos

May 30, 2021 - #4785 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 musicandthespokenword.org.

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.

Music

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” (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”
Music and Lyrics: Various from the 5 armed forces music
Arranged: Lloyd Larson

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

The Spoken Word

Courage and Devotion to Duty

Written by Heidi S. Swinton

On June 6, 1944, this beach on the coast of Normandy, France, became the turning point of World War II. At the time, France was occupied by Nazi Germany, as was much of western Europe. But then Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied forces, ordered an invasion. Code-named Operation Overlord, it took place on this 50-mile stretch of sand, where some 160,000 American, British, and Canadian troops, with an armada of nearly 5,000 vessels, launched the largest seaborne invasion in military history.

Addressing the troops before launching the campaign, General Eisenhower said: “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you…I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!”1 Against all odds, the hard-fought invasion of Normandy was a success, and the course of history was forever altered.

General Eisenhower never intended to be a military hero. As a youngster in Abilene, Kansas, what he really wanted to be was a major league baseball player. The world owes a debt of gratitude to the baseball coach at West Point Academy who cut young Dwight Eisenhower from the team, effectively ending his baseball career.2 Instead, Eisenhower became a five-star general and the 34th president of the United States. 

He brought to Washington a military charisma reminiscent of Presidents George Washington and Ulysses S. Grant, both charged with bringing the country together after deadly wars. In his final address as president in 1961, Eisenhower reflected on his “half a century in the service of our country.” His presidential counsel still holds true: “America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our…material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.”3

At this place made sacred by the sacrifices of those under Eisenhower’s command, we remember, and must never forget, that our nation’s best moments were born of courage and devotion to duty. We honor that history when we, as President Eisenhower urged, use what power we have to promote peace and make the world a better place. 

  1. “D-Day Statement to Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force” (June 1944), catalog.archives.gov/id/186473.
  2. See “President Dwight D. Eisenhower Baseball Related Quotations,” Baseball Almanac, baseball-almanac.com/prz_qde.shtml.
  3. “President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address” (Jan. 17, 1961), 2, 6, catalog.archives.gov/id/594599.