On Veterans Day
by Karl Hitzemann
"You sacrificed to serve our nation. You make us proud in many ways. Because of you we have our freedom. We honor you on Vet'rans Day." These words come from the song, "On Veterans Day." It's a moving, poignant tribute and "thank you" to the men and women who have and who are serving our nation.
The recorded symphonic tracks include a moving blend of strings, woodwinds, piano, and percussion that rise and fall with the emotion of the tune. If you use this piece in a performance, we suggest using the recording as a powerful and appropriate musical backdrop for your singers.
Some things you might try in performance include displaying the American flag or even a color guard with multiple flags. This could include your state flag and the flags of the military branches alongside the American flag. Additionally, if your students and fellow teachers have relatives who are veterans or are serving in one of the armed forces, it would be fitting to honor them by having them come to the performance in uniform, and have them stand in recognition, or be a part of your color guard. Be sure to have your students say "thank you" to them, individually or all together.
Note that at the second time in measure 9 you have the option of singing either the word "prayed" or "hoped." We used "prayed" on our recording, but you can choose whichever one best fits your situation.
From a music theory standpoint, be sure to point out to your singers that this song is in mixed meter, changing from 4/4 to 2/4 and back to 4/4 various times.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.