Staunton Senior Center Enjoys Relaxing DayPublished Monday, Jul. 8, 2013, 10:44 am
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Staunton Senior Center members snuggled in for the day on July 3 due to the rainy weather and postponement of the senior center Fourth of July picnic they were supposed to attend in Waynesboro. As they played games, amazing aromas wafted from the kitchen as Director Lynn Harris whipped up a fantastic Italian meal of spaghetti and garlic bread. The lunch was rounded out by a perfectly ripe water melon, juicy, crisp grapes, and a cake donated by one of the members. An impromptu rendition of “God Bless America” was introduced by Ms. Harris, and all joined in quite enthusiastically! A challenging game of Wheel of Fortune completed the fun day!
Earlier in the week, several members experienced patriotic tunes on the piano complements of Judy Hatcher, a retired school teacher. As well as enjoying the songs and celebrating the 4th, listeners were treated to some of the history behind the music, and little known facts were learned. America has a national hymn entitled “God of Our Fathers” which was written in 1876. The United States’ national anthem was first “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” written in 1831; later “The Star Spangled Banner” became the national anthem.
“Yankee Doodle” was first a British song, and Americans threw garbage and rotten eggs at the Red Coats as they sang it, also mocking them by singing it back to them. Then it became the Americans’ song as it was sung so much during the Revolutionary War.
“Battle Hymn of the Republic” was written in 1862 and was the song for the Union Army. Irving Berlin in 1918 wrote “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor” from a poem written by Emma Lazarus who was the winner of a poetry contest; part of the poem is inscribed on the bottom of the Statue of Liberty.
Irving Berlin also wrote “God Bless America” in 1938, and it became famous during WWII when Kate Smith sang it to raise money for war bonds.
SSC members left the Center with a deeper appreciation of many of the patriotic songs they have listened to and have sung since childhood!
More online at www.StauntonSeniorCenter.org.