Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Go check out what I mean.

I hastily pieced together this video from mostly DoD photos:

Although Memorial Day honors all those who have fallen in service to this country, the video's content focuses on the current war on terror Overseas Contingency Operations. I wanted to convey the heartache and sacrifice as well as the pride felt by those military families, left behind by a son, a daughter, a niece, a nephew, a cousin, a mother, a father, a grandparent, a friend who dared put on a military uniform to defend you, me, and our own friends and family.

I intentionally juxtapositioned the poignancy of families left behind...their own children and wives...while going off to help other people's children and wives in a foreign land; of American lives lost, but also showing what those lives have gained for us and for the world.

Soldiers are heroes, plain and simple, answering a call that is greater than self.

I don't believe our military should ever be used for anything other than to serve in our own national security interests. The necessity of removing Saddam from power through war may be debatable; but what I am moved by in photos such as the ones in the video, is the selfless professionalism of the American soldier helping a budding democracy to flourish; the simple kindness of the American warrior toward Iraqi children. And for this, we are hated around the world; our muscular foreign policy and military interventionism roundly criticized; our previous president blamed for supposedly hurting our image abroad.

It is the nobility of the American soldier who is the best ambassador to other nations; who exemplifies our values and traditions. It is the American soldier who represents the best and brightest our country has to offer.

This post will be updated with my cross-post at Flopping Aces, later.

Please make note that over in the sidebar, you will find my Memorial Day videos for the previous 2 years. Please use them as you see fit.

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Blogger Flag Gazer said...

Beautifully done...

Thankful for all of those men and women who have sacrificed on behalf of our country.

Saturday, May 23, 2009 2:04:00 AM  
Blogger Skye said...

Another masterpiece Word! Posted this video on MidnightBlue.

Saturday, May 23, 2009 6:31:00 AM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

That was absolutely exquisite, Wordsmith, absolutely exquisite. Moving, made my eyes water, excellent musical choice, all a wonderfully emotive piece.

Technical question for you, since I can't find your e-mail -- so I apologize taking up comment space for a personal question.

I and many like me have many photographs and would like to assemble presentations like the ones you've done. My wife cobbled something together as a tribute to my father for his funeral, but it just didn't work well at all, ran in a staggered fashion, sometimes didn't run. I think she used something called PresenterSoft. I was much less than impressed and it required tons of work and much patching to get it to play at the church. It still played in a jerky fashion.

Question: what program or programs do you use to produce these videos with sound and custom text? I'd eventually like to produce a video similar to this one, with music, some text, with many of my father's photographs, new and old, in order to give to my father's friends and members of our family, as a tribute. If you'd prefer to not take up your blog's time, my e-mail is

Thanks for your assist!


Saturday, May 23, 2009 9:52:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Hey BZ,

I used both Photo Story 3 for Windows and Windows Moviemaker for this one.

I had the darn'dest time with this video, because I didn't have an mp3 of this version of the song (I have the BYU Choir version, but it was shorter than I wanted) so I ripped the song from a YouTube video and used that as the audio on Moviemaker. Unfortunately, Photo Story only takes audio tracks and not video footage. So I had to print out the photos from Photo Story (you can upload photos to Windows Moviemaker, but are limited to what part of the photo you can zoom around to) as a movie; then import that into Windows Moviemaker and re-edit to synchronize the scenes to the music. It was a bit of a pain.

But Windows Moviemaker comes with your Windows package; and Photo Story 3 is a common, free download. There's a Windows Moviemaker forum as well that can help you out, including codes for additional special effects to add in.

Let me know if you need more help than this, and I will e-mail you.

Saturday, May 23, 2009 3:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

You do great work! Here's hoping you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, Wordsmith.

Saturday, May 23, 2009 5:29:00 PM  
Blogger Indigo Red said...

Very nice, Word. Very nice.

Saturday, May 23, 2009 8:12:00 PM  
Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Excellent video Word. We owe these heroes more than we can ever repay. God bless those who are serving on the front line of freedom. God bless the memory of those who have sacrificed all. And God bless the families whose sacrifice cannot be measured in the loss of a loved one.

Happy Memorial Day Word!

Sunday, May 24, 2009 5:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

Fantastic video. Thank you so much for what you do. Forever remembering those who have given their all for our country.

Monday, May 25, 2009 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Your videos have become a Memorial Day tradition for me, WS.


As you said, we must "live lives worthy of their sacrifice!"

As I pause to remember today the men and women who've sacrificed for my freedom, I'm reminded that I have a responsibility to them that goes far beyond this special day of remembrance.

Monday, May 25, 2009 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Z said...

"USA is good"
weepy enough before I hit that part.

What a fabulous video...BZ's right, the music, the images...exquisite.
Thanks, Sparky. xxx

Monday, May 25, 2009 2:29:00 PM  
Blogger Z said...

I just did a late Mem. Day post (pix from the Westwood ceremonies at the VA, you know) on top of the earlier one and am linking to this. thanks.

Monday, May 25, 2009 2:30:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

That's funny....I just got back from there. From about 2pm to 3:30.

Monday, May 25, 2009 4:07:00 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...


I'm a tough ol' broad, but I teared up -- with joy, sadness, pride, and patriotism.

"USA Good" followed by the hands reaching out in the shot immediately after...I have no adequate words.

Thank you so much for putting together this video.

Oh, and the background music is perfect, perfect, perfect!

Monday, May 25, 2009 4:08:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...


You're all very much welcome!

Your videos have become a Memorial Day tradition for me, WS.That's quite a compliment, Mary..with a wee feeling of pressure!

Monday, May 25, 2009 4:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

No pressure intended, WS, but I do look forward to your Memorial Day videos. I truly appreciate what you do every year.

Your videos are so moving. They never fail to touch my heart. The images and the music express more than I could ever say with words.

Monday, May 25, 2009 10:03:00 PM  

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