Saturday, May 28, 2011


We are closing in on Memorial Day, not quite the halfway mark to Christmas.  C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S, the Holiday so many of us are thrilled to see come because of the memories it brings us.  I like alot about that time of year, but my favorite is hearing the old favorite song, "Silent Night".  There has always been something about the tune that really struck a chord with me.  But then came 1984 and a group by the name of Mannheim Steamroller.  The founder of the group, Chip Davis, modernized a number of songs for their Christmas CD.  "Stille Nacht" or more commonly known to us as "Silent Night" was one of those.  I'm not sure I've ever heard a more beautiful rendition of my Christmas favorite.  I listened to it over and over trying to soak in the emotion.  Each time gave me a different thought, a different persuasion. 

Almost 22 years ago my father passed away.  As we made funeral plans, I asked my mom, brother and sister if we could play that song.  Thankfully, all agreed, although I'm sure they wondered where the Christmas theme came into play. That wasn't the point though.  I had wanted to create an image of silence and appreciation and love for the time on earth my father gave me.  He certainly deserved it.

Just last week I was communicating with a former co-worker that I hadn't spoken to in maybe 20 years.  I had sent her a note in regards to a mutual friend whose mother had just passed away.  She said, "You know, just yesterday I was thinking of your Dad's funeral when you played Silent Night.  I still think of your Dad every time I hear that song.  Seriously."  I 'd be lying if I wasn't right there with her.  And that's why, even though, it's not Christmas time, I'm going to share it with we head into Memorial Day.

Think about our troops.....past, present and future that have sacrificed so much for us. Listen to the eloquence of  "Stille Nacht" along with a poem recorded by Father Ted Berndt.  Father Berndt was a priest at Bread of Life Charismatic Episcopal Church in Dousman, Wisconsin.   Berndt was a proud Marine and a WWII Purple Heart recipient.  The original adaption of the poem was written by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt in 1987.

Is "Silent Night" a song for all seasons?  You be the judge.  In our family it is.  If you've listened to this song today, I challenge you to not think of your appreciation of life and sacrifice in a much different manner.  At least I'd hope you can.......Play it again and again if you WANT.  It doesn't have to be Christmas time to soak it all in.  And may we all remember our Soldiers this Memorial Weekend



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