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

Videos

November 07, 2021 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 live performance of Music & the Spoken Word is produced with The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square practicing COVID protocols.

Music

Conductors: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Richard Elliott
Narrator: Lloyd Newell

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

“Our God Is Marching On”
Music and Lyrics: A Medley of the Official Hymns of the U.S. Armed Forces
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“The Liberty Bell” (organ solo)
Music: John Philip Sousa
Arrangement: Joseph Linger

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

“American Anthem”
Music and Lyrics: Gene Scheer
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“Battle Hymn of the Republic”1
Music: William Steffe
Lyrics: Julia Ward Howe
Arrangement: Peter J. Wilhousky

  1. On the CDs America's Choir and Spirit of America.

The Spoken Word

The Dream of a Nation

More than 20 years ago, Gene Scheer read a book about the creation of the Constitution of the United States. He read about the passionate dedication of the founders of this nation—a nation that would one day become a symbol of freedom for the world. As he read, he felt inspired—so inspired that he wrote a song and called it “American Anthem.” The song has been performed at presidential inaugurations and was featured in a popular documentary about World War ll. Scheer said he wanted it to be a “rallying call,” reminding citizens—including himself—of our responsibility “to get out there and . . . do something” for the country.1

This is what he wrote:

All we’ve been given
By those who came before
The dream of a nation
Where freedom would endure
The work and prayers
Of centuries
Have brought us to this day.

What shall be our legacy?
What will our children say?
Let them say of me
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings
I received.

Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
America,
America,
I gave my best to you.

Today, in particular, we honor the veterans who gave their best. They served so nobly, gave so much, to preserve and defend all that we hold dear. “The dream of a nation where freedom would endure” would still be only a dream if not for their selfless service.

At the same time, the sacred responsibility to keep the dream alive belongs not only to the women and men in uniform. All who are blessed by our nation’s legacy have a duty to preserve and defend it. As the anthem declares, freedom has endured thus far through “the work and prayers of centuries,” and that’s how it will continue. That work surely includes standing up for freedom and taking seriously our shared civic duty. It must include shunning contention, respecting and valuing others, listening to and learning from those different from us, and simply being neighborly and kind.

If we can do that, then perhaps someday our children and grandchildren will read about us and feel grateful and inspired—grateful for the legacy we’ve passed along, and inspired to preserve it for another generation.

 

  1. In Nicolás Rivero, “What Is ‘American Anthem,’ the Song in Biden’s Inaugural Address?,” Quartz, Jan. 20, 2021, qz.com.