10 Memorial Day Songs That Will Force You to Stop and Thank a Veteran

by Jennifer Paccione

It’s Memorial Day….which, for most of us, has come to symbolize the first weekend of summer, a long, 3-day weekend, retail shopping sales, and enjoying indulgent picnic food at our favorite park/watering hole or in our backyards.

But what is Memorial Day?  It’s a day set aside to honor those courageous men and women who served, fought, and died during their service to their country.  We often take this for granted as we freely surf the internet, speak our minds on social media, or even leave our house whenever we feel like it.  We don’t have to look far to see how other countries like Ukraine or Israel have suffered, so we must remember those U.S. soldiers who gave us the freedoms we enjoy today.

Here are ten songs, in no particular order, that will give you a sobering glimpse of the soldier’s experience and the high price paid for your freedom.  These poignant, powerful, and sometimes even political songs will make your hot-dog-eating holiday all the more meaningful.WARNING:  some videos contain themes of war and violence.

1. “The Trooper” by Iron Maiden: This classic metal anthem is inspired by a battle from the Crimean War.  With its fierce, galloping rhythm and lyrics, it gives a snapshot of the conflicts and courage of soldiers.

2. “Hero of War” by Rise Against This piercing rock ballad talks about one soldier’s initial beliefs and ideals about war and his journey into new truths.

3. “Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen: This popular pop song became the new “Star-Spangled Banner” for Americans in the 80s.  But don’t be fooled by its catchy, upbeat feel.  The song reveals some harsh truths about a soldier’s harrowing experiences and struggles after his homecoming from the Vietnam War.

4. “Rooster” by Alice in Chains: Inspired by the father of the band’s guitarist, this song paints some vivid details of the struggles and thoughts of one soldier during the Vietnam War.

5. “Goodnight Saigon” by Billy Joel: In this tear-jerker of a ballad, the song invokes soldiers’ much-needed bonds of camaraderie to help them get through the desperate harshness of war.

6. “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival: A 60’s protest song, it is a scathing rant on those who did not come from wealthy or political families and thus were thrown into the war by being drafted. 

7. “One” by Metallica: Inspired by the novel “Johnny Got His Gun” by Dalton Trumbo, the song deeply looks at one severely wounded soldier’s inner conflicts.  It also underscores the dehumanizing aspect of war and social/ethical issues.

8. “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)” by Toby Keith: A patriotic country song that fiercely defends the values of the United States.

9. “Arlington” by Trace Adkins: This extremely moving country ballad is spoken through the voice of a fallen soldier buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

10. “Civil War” by Guns N’ Roses:  This powerful rock ballad explores themes of conflict, social injustice, and the high price soldiers pay.

….oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave

over the land of the free  

and the home of the brave?

(taken from “The Star-Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key) 

…you bet your sweet combat boots it does.  Thank a veteran for all the freedoms you enjoy in the USA, either in person or through social media.  

Now go grill some burgers and enjoy that freedom to the fullest.

Miguel’s Friday Thoughts: Tina Turner, Melo Retiring

By Miguel Mike Medina

Tina Turner has passed away at the age of 83. She’s known as the “Queen of Rock and Roll.” I was never a big fan of her. I do think it’s a blessing she got to live a long life. I’ll mostly remember Tina for her song “What’s love got to Do with It,” a legendary and classic song. I remember when Fat Joe made his version featuring Ashanti and Ja Rule for the Juwanna Mann movie soundtrack. Tina Turner also had domestic issues with her ex Ike Turner. They were a musical duo from 1960 to 1976. She divorced Ike Turner in 1978. Turner has sold over 100 million records worldwide and won 12 Grammy Awards. 

The remake of the 1992 White Men Can’t Jump was a failure. I’m glad I didn’t see this, and I’m not planning to. Hollywood and their obsession with doing remakes and reboots is cringeworthy and a waste of money. The series is on Hulu, and there’s no point in why these creators wanted to make this series. Leave the classics and originals alone. 

Gary Sanchez has been designated for assignment. Sánchez, in his first season with the Mets, has one RBI and zero home runs through just three games played. I think Sanchez will find another home to play, but he still needs to improve his game. The Mets are better off with Francisco Alvarez as the starting catcher. He’s the future at that position for this franchise. 

Carmelo Anthony recently announced his retirement from the NBA. Melo is one of the greatest scorers of his generation. He’s a 10-time All-Star and a three-time gold medalist.

He’s a lock to go to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Anthony had opportunities to be part of a title-contending team, but he dropped the ball. For example, he could’ve joined Wade and Lebron in Miami, but he wanted to get his money. He didn’t take a pay cut. Also, his isolation Game didn’t help him win championships. Melo is known for playing one on one. That’s his game. I’m not really into that kind of style of play. He played for some good teams like the 2009 Denver Nuggets and 2013 New York Knicks, but for the most part, anywhere he went, winning didn’t follow him. 

Jamie Foxx Remained Hospitalized

By Miguel Mike Medina

Academy Award-winning Actor, Singer, and Comedian Jamie Foxx remained hospitalized for over three weeks after suffering a medical emergency. The rumor is that he suffered from a stroke or heart attack. 

What’s crazy about this situation with Jamie is that he looks healthy. When I heard the news about Jamie Foxx being in the hospital, it surprised me. But then again, with these celebrities, you never know their situation. We hope he didn’t do drugs or is a result of years of doing drugs. Another possibility could be that he wasn’t checking himself often with the doctors. The general recommendation is to check yourself every six months or every year. Many of us are hesitant to see the doctors because we might be afraid of hearing bad news or don’t want to take prescriptions, or it’s a waste of time because some doctors don’t help us like they should be helping us. It could be many reasons. 

Regardless, this is a wake-up call and a lesson in life for Jamie Foxx to probably slow down on his work and focus more on his health. There will come a point in our lives where we must deal with health situations. The important thing is to have a lot of faith and self-discipline. No one is alone because God is always with us to guide and protect us. 

Foxx is 55 years old. He won an Oscar for his role as Ray Charles in the movie Ray in 2004. Since 2017, Foxx has served as the host and executive producer of the Fox game show Beat Shazam. In 2021, he wrote his autobiography Act Like You Got Some Sense. Foxx is involved in eight projects between this year and the foreseeable future. In three of those eight projects, he serves as the producer. Seven of those eight projects are in postproduction.