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Let Freedom Sing

I had an experience I would like to share with you to honor those who have given all for our great Nation by shining the light of freedom on a truly patriotic moment. Hopefully, I can paint the picture, and you can hear the music and feel the true American spirit as you close your eyes and envision the event.

It is my pleasure once a month to be invited out to Celebration Villa to share current events and conversations with anyone who would like to join me. I look forward to this and always take a sweet snack and oftensome hot coffee to be enjoyed while we talk. I have become very fond of the staff and residents of the assisted living facility.

A couple of weeks back, when I arrived, I was informed my time slot may be running a little behind because there was some entertainment before me. As I settled into a chair with the beautiful early morning sunshine coming through the window, I had a moment to relax. I thanked Cachet Haag, Life Enrichment Director, for being great to work with and always keeping me informed and wondered what the entertainment was.

There was then some hustle and bustle, but I couldn’t really see what was going on because it was out of my line of vision, and then it happened: children began to sing. It immediately got my attention as the young voices were very good and brought “God Bless America” to life in unison.

At this point, I had to see what was going on and who was performing. As I looked in the room, the Saint John Neumann Regional Academy kindergartners were standing as those old enough to be their great-grandparents were seated together, attentively watching, and listening to every note. It brought a tear to my eye, and then it got even better.

As the performance went on, the young voices began to be joined by the older voices, many of whom were emotionally moved like I was. Then the joint effort got even louder. That tear I told you about ran right down my face.

When the final chorus of “my home sweet home” ended, there was an overwhelming ovation. This brought those big smiles to the kids’ faces, which we all love to see, and let them know just how special they were and how greatly appreciated their choice of music was.

It was an amazing example of God, Country, togetherness, and sharing. It also showed how you never know when or where an inspirational message may come from. On this day, it was delivered through the love and voices of children.

A tip of my Webb Weekly cap with the American Flag on the side to the good folks at Saint John Neumann, especially kindergarten teacher Charlene Harbach, music teacher Rebecca Ciabattari, and their wonderful students. Thank you for their willingness to take the show on the road and brighten folks’ lives. I only wish I could book them to perform at every senior center across our Nation. As you’re enjoying the long Memorial Day weekend, I encourage you not only to take a knee to honor those who have given up their futurebut to share and educate your children about the selflessness and sacrifice these true American heroes made for our Nation.

I’ll finish my Memorial Day thoughts with a line from Toby Keith’s song “American Soldier,” “I don’t want to die for you, but if dying’s asked of me, I’ll bear that cross with honor ‘cause freedom don’t come free.” I thank God for these men and women who have provided and protected our very existence. Let’s all be safe out there and enjoy the summer kickoff.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb