About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sunday Singalong - Remembering, Never to Forget


Memorial Day, of course, is when we remember those who died in service to their country (talking the US here), but has been expanded to those US service men & women who are no longer with us. However, because we do not want to miss a time we might "recognize" anyone in the military, current or veteran, alive or dead, to express appreciation, we consider them as well. And I've been seeing that some organizations are also recognizing first responders in other walks of life (police, fire, ambulance, etc.) as well. As one who has called 911 more than once and who is a Navy veteran's widow, I have appreciated the different categories of folks who give their life and time for the good of folks, many of whom they haven't and won't ever meet. 

What about songs that are designed to honor the many who have risked and even given their lives for the well-being of others? Of  course, in the US, most of us don't see the horrifying, every-day reality of death and destruction in front of us, as part of our lives (thinking of the unimaginable lives lived by the Ukrainians). But many, if not most, of us experience one, or even more, events where we were "saved" or positively assisted at a time when we did not expect to emerge unscathed, by a first responder, or even a second, third, etc. responder, but whose intervention was life changing, or life saving. Probably the event that immediately comes to mind is the terrorist attack on the US on 9/11/01. With that in mind, my selection of a song is one that expresses appreciation, thanks, and more for those who went in to rescue the folks trying to escape the burning towers in New York, as the last act in their lives.

So many songs deal with brave men and women who put everything on the line to help or save others. So today I offer the song, "The Bravest," in recognition of the bravest in NY on that day when the world changed for so many.

"The Bravest," by Tom Paxton © 2001, recorded live in Aug., 2011 for the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Video is horrible, but sound is good.

"The Bravest," by Tom Paxton © 2001, recorded live in July 2015 at Morristown Green. Video is great, but volume is horrible.

Is there a song that comes to mind for you, one that recognizes, tells a story, or expresses emotion that connects to those who live (and often die) their lives for others?

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