Memorial Day Special (May 24, 2015) - #4471 Music & The Spoken Word

Music and the Spoken Word broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. May 24, 2015 Broadcast Number 4471. 


“God Bless America”12 
Composer: Irving Berlin
Lyrics: Irving Berlin 
Arrangement: Roy Ringwald

“Our God Is Marching On”
Official Hymns of the United States Armed Forces
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“The Washington Post March” (organ solo)
Composer: John Philip Sousa
Arrangement: Joseph Linger

“Distant Land”1
Composer: John Rutter
Lyrics: John Rutter

“On This Day” 
Composer: Charles Strouse, based on the arrangement by Mac Huff
Lyrics: Charles Strouse

“Flag of the Free” 
Medley arranged by Michael Davis

  1. On the album Spirit of America and in the CD set Encore Collection: The Many Sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  2. On the album America’s Choir and in the CD sets 100 Years: Celebrating a Century of Recording Excellence and Bravo! The #1 Albums.

Spoken Word


A family with teenage children has a cherished tradition that has served them for generations. Each time one of the children leaves home for a date or an activity with friends, the father always says, “Remember who you are and what you represent.” The teenagers have grown to expect this gentle reminder. It’s the same reminder their father heard his parents say to him a generation earlier.

Families are linked across generations when children remember who they are. This sense of identity guides their actions as they strive to bring honor to their family name. In much the same way, citizens of nations and communities are also linked by remembering who they are and what they represent. A strong national and cultural memory gives us a common identity and a sense of responsibility to live up to our heritage.

Remembering who we are means more than just studying history, though that is worthwhile. It means thinking a little more deeply and personally about the values and virtues that make up our identity as a people.

This is why it is a blessing to have a day for remembering. Surely this ought to include a moment “to remember the lives that have been [lost] as part of the purchase price” of our freedom.1 For some of us it may also include remembering forbearers whose love of freedom led them to leave behind what was familiar to seek a new home for future generations—for our generation. For others it includes remembering those who simply, consistently did the right thing, without fanfare and without wavering.

This is who we are and what we represent. As we thoughtfully remember loved ones gone, we gain confidence to step forward into the future with their same wisdom, courage, and strength.

So visit a cemetery and see the flags and flowers around a gravestone, each expressing a loving remembrance. Open a photo album and study the faces of relatives and ancestors of long ago, each telling a family story. Keep their stories alive by sharing them with the next generation.

We are not just remembering the past; we are remembering who we are and what we represent—as individuals, as families, and as a nation.

  1. Richard L. Evans, Tonic for Our Times (1952), 203.