I think that before I start, I should warn you that I’m a hippie. No, not the kind that you see in the old pictures from the 60’s, but I believe, as the hippies did, that there is dignity in freedom and independence is priceless. I thnk that’s also called transcendentalism, but don’t quote me on that. I also share in the belief that music can change the world. No, really, stop laughing!
This week is the lead up to the second Sound Off for Vets concert that will be held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (USA) this Saturday, May 21 starting at noon. During this time, I’ve noticed the good that music can achieve. Local musicians from all over central Pennsylvania have shown an interest in performing at the event and some even have asked to volunteer with putting on the event. There has been a large outpouring of support from the local cummunity either by sponsoring the event with a donation or donating a prize for the prize drawings. People from all walks of life have shown an interest in this and I think that it brings out the good in people. Although the cause is a good one and those returning from combat with injuries face a long hard road, the music plays a role in both indentfying this cause and, in a way, easing the suffering a little bit from the joy it brings to those who hear it.
Music plays a central part of all this simply because it is expression in its purest form. Last year, we had started out with very few people, since we held it on a thursday, but once we got going, the sound carrired to the other side of the river and people were coming over just to see what was going on. This year, we have grown in learning from our missteps from last year and building onto what was already here to make it bigger and better. We are part of this year’s Armed Forces Day celebration, an annual event in Harrisb urg highlighting our service men and women’s contributions and sacrifices. This event normally attracts a very large crowd. I am sure our music will attract these people to our show, our message, and ultimatly our cause. Music is what is bringing everyone together, in this case, calling attention to the Wounded Warrior Project and the plight of those who have been severly wounded in battle.
As a result of what happens here, the Wounded Warrior Project will be able to continue easing the transition of those severely wounded veterans who must now re-invent themselves in order to return to civilian life. During this event, people will meet, connections will be made, and friendships will be formed, all as a result of this effort. Through it all, the music is the prime ingredient which enabled all this to happen. There is power in music – the power to do good.