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A special weekend – very special

This weekend, it’s Memorial Day across America.  It’s a very special weekend to many.  In this time of war, and in times of wars past, you don’t have to look far to find someone who has lost someone who gave it all for freedom.  Some people just have to look in the mirror.  Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, and many others have fallen.

I remember once I was working as a producer for a radio station in Dallas.  Part of my job was to write copy for promos and imaging.  Each time a holiday came around, I would try to create unique audio elements that would connect with the listener in a special way.  One year, I was working at a station and was blessed to partner with radio voiceover pro Pete Bunch of Spoken Word Images in North Carolina.  Pete is one of the best in the business at interpreting copy down to its “deeper” level.  Memorial Day was approaching, and I had put together some nice liners and promos designed to connect the listener with the true meaning of the holiday.  Not cookouts, beaches, and a long weekend…but the deeper, more somber message that lies within the name of the Day itself – to remember.  Because of this, my copy did not contain the words “Happy Memorial Day!”  It’s not a happy day.  It’s a serious day of reflection to honor those who, as Billy Ray Cyrus puts it in the video above, “gave all.”  Real people with real families and real friends.  And as I expected, Pete nailed every read I wrote for him.
Pete Bunch told me that I would be stunned at how much Memorial Day copy he received from stations around the country replete with “happys,” and that he feared that we as a nation had really just forgotten; dumbed-down and distilled Memorial Day into just another reason to sleep in.
This is not to say that we don’t have much to celebrate, and I believe that if those whom we remember this weekend could speak, they would want us to enjoy the freedom for which they died.  But as we light the barbecue, take a dip in the pool, or crack open that cold one, let’s not forget why we’re doing it.  It’s the least we can do.

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