War drew us from our homeland in the sunlit springtime of our youth. Those who did not come back alive remain in perpetual springtime- forever young - and a part of them is with us always. - Author Unknown
Amongst our busy daily lives we often forget those who came before us. It’s as is if we say goodbye, at their funerals, and we never look back. Long since forgotten are those who worked hard to create a life we now know today.
Over the years, Memorial Day has become a holiday that’s forgotten and full of confusion. Most associate the three-day weekend as an unofficial beginning of summer. Some who do take the time to honor the day, honor it as a day dedicated for all those who served. While in reality it is a day to remember and pay respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, with their lives, while serving their country during war.
About Memorial Day
Formally known as Decoration Day, the holiday originated shortly after the Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the war. By the 20th century, the name was changed to Memorial Day and had been extended to honor all soldiers who died while in American Military service.
The history of this federal holiday is quite interesting and should be sought. But do note that Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veteran’s Day. Again, Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving. Veteran’s Day honors the service of all U.S. Military Veterans.
Memorial Day Honors Special Issue
Officially, the first annual Memorial Day Honors special issue came out in 2003. Unofficially, Strictly Country started the annual Memorial Day Honors special issue in 2004 with a full issue dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in military service.
“I come from a long line of Veterans. My Grandfather served in World War I and I have twenty-two uncles… half of which served in World War II and the other half served in the Korean War. My own father served right on the front lines of the Korean War. I have had cousins in each of the major conflicts since. I’m sorry to say that the Singerhouse name graces the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.” states Strictly Country Editor Gina Kay Singerhouse. “In 2003, I became so sick of stores and their advertisements to shop, shop and shop. No one was saying ‘Hey it’s Memorial Day and this is not your day - it’s theirs!’ So, I set out to correct that problem by producing the Memorial Day Honor’s Special issue of Strictly Country.”
Since then, this issue has become a staple at Strictly Country Magazine. It is the only issue to sell out before it hits the newsstands. In this issue we feature songs about soldiers as well as entertainers who served and entertainers who help America’s Real Heroes - the soldier.
Each year, Strictly Country donates 100 copies of this special issue to The Highground Veteran's Memorial Park, to help raise funds for various programs for our Veterans.
Songs About Soldiers
Beginning with the very first Memorial Day Honors Special issue, we began gathering and compiling a list of Songs About Soldiers. Throughout the year we continue our search and add our new finds to our ever growing list. Each issue of our annual Memorial Day Honors Special issue features the stories behind these songs. You can read the entire list right here.
Around The Campfire Radio Show
Each Memorial Day we feature many of the Songs About Soldiers on our Friday night radio show – Around The Campfire. This nearly two-hour special has become one of the listener’s favorites as the hosts Jack and Gina play songs and share stories in regards to Memorial Day.
The Spirit Awards
In 2016, The Spirit Awards added a new category and award called “The Spirit of America Award.” This award respectfully honors the best Song About Soldiers in the voting year. Strictly Country felt that was about time to honor such beautiful songs as they pay tribute to America’s REAL heroes – the soldier.
Entertainers Who Served
Jim Ed Brown
Tennessee Ernie Ford
Tom T. Hall
Billy Joe Shaver
Songs About Soldiers...
America's Major War Casualties
Not just numbers. More than just a name on a wall!
Revolutionary War: 25,00
War of 1812: 6,765
Mexican War: 17,435
Civil War: 625,000
Spanish-American War: 4,108
World War I: 116,708
World War II: 416,800
Korean War: 54,246
Vietnam War: 58,209
Gulf War: 258
Iraq War: 4,400
Afghanistan War: 2,344
* Courtesy of The United States Civil War Center.
World War II Photographs
In 2007, Strictly Country received an e-mail. This e-mail contained the war photographs that you see below. The story behind these war photographs is that a man found an old Brownie camera that was stored in a footlocker of his Grandfather, who passed away. No one in his Grandfather’s family knew that he was a sailor that was on the U.S.S. Quapaw ATF-110 during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Seventy years later, the photographs depict the horrors of that devastating attack on America. We send out a special thank you to the man who sent us these historical photos.
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