I have simple traditions: the Christmas Baked Olive Cheese Balls and English Trifle, New Year's Day hikes, a "Happy Birthday!" banner I string across the fireplace when celebrating a loved one's special day. One of my few 4th Of July traditions is to attend the Celebrate America! performance. The show is held at Harrisonburg High School every July 3.
The Shenandoah Valley Choral Society joins with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Concert Band to share their musical talents with our community. The theme of the evening is remembrance and honor of our heritage through ballads, folk songs, show tunes and patriotic numbers.
As I observe the performers, my heart swells with appreciation for each neighbor on the stage, sharing his and her talents in such a lovely manner. I love music, most genres, and always the selections I hear at the annual concert. This year, among my favorites: "Nine Hundred Miles," "It Had To Be You" and "Moon River".
However, the highlight of the evening is always the salute to the veterans in the audience. As the band and Choral Society play the anthem of each respective branch, veterans and active members stand and are applauded by the audience. Some stand at attention, others are more subdued, but they all seem to appreciate the applause and the waving flags.
And, every year, I shed a tear or two as my heart swells with respect and gratitude for the dedication and sacrifice of each member and their families. Then, the band plays, "Stars And Stripes Forever".........
Thank you for your service, thank you for my freedoms, and may God bless America!
Our Ragtime Staff