musicterror & war

Bing Crosby’s Christmas prayer

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I recall Christmas, 1970, when I was an 18-year-old sailor stationed aboard a swaying aircraft carrier off the coast of North Vietnam.

We young sailors, like our civilian counterparts back home, thought of ourselves as young, hip and cool guys. After all, we were teenagers during the swinging 1960’s, a time noted for drugs, sex and rock music. The 1970’s promised to be cooler still, we believed.

As we were eating our Christmas dinner the 1MC, the ship’s public address system, offered Bing Crosby singing his Christmas classic, White Christmas. A lot of young, hip and cool guys became misty-eyed.

Many of us associate the old crooner Bing Crosby with Christmas. His White Christmas remains one of the most popular Christmas songs and every radio station playing holiday music showcases that classic and Crosby’s many other traditional Christmas songs. 

Robert M. Citino, writing for  , recalls another era, and another war, when Crosby had a popular radio program. On December 21, 1944, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines were engaged in fighting World War II, and Crosby offered a simple, but powerful prayer for them.

With American troops engaged in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan this Christmas, Crosby’s prayer bears repeating.

I’d like to wish for our troops a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and I pray for their safe return home.               

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