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Celebrating Veterans Day Through Music

The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music wishes to remind all of our viewers that Veterans Day honors the sacrifice and duty of all our active duty and veteran military troops who have served our country in times of war and peace.  After investing their lives in the defense of our nation, they deserve our continuing support and recognition throughout the year, but most of all on Veterans Day.

After the United States declared war against Germany on April 6, 1917 America’s sheet music industry joined forces with the U.S. Committee on Public Information (CPI) to help sell the nation’s new war ideals to the American public – unconditional patriotism, sacrifice, volunteerism, and support for the country’s involvement.  Between 1917 and 1920 composers, lyricists, and music publishers produced hundreds of songs that promoted the country’s war effort with such tunes as “Over There,” “I Did Not Raise My Boy to be a Coward,”  “Goodbye Broadway, Hello France,”  and “Can’t You Hear Your Country Calling.”  A 1918 CPI bulletin declared, “the singing army, whether it be a fighting army or a working army, cannot be beaten” to champion the selfless work of all individuals on both the war and home fronts.

The Center’s rich collections of music, particularly the James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection, celebrate veterans and their contributions to America during times of peace and war.  So as we honor our country’s veterans on Veterans Day, why not spend a little time exploring the music of our Myers sheet music collection and discover how America’s composers celebrated the men and women who served our country.

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