Grand Ole Opry / YouTube
If you only stop and think about our nation’s fallen heroes one day during the year, make sure it’s “The Last Monday in May.” That day is always Memorial Day. Sure, we get a three-day weekend to spend extra time at the beach, or barbecue with friends, but the real reason Memorial Day is a holiday is to remember the people who died while serving our country and fighting for our freedom.
The country music community is notoriously supportive of our military, and singer William Michael Morgan is no different. At his Grand Ole Opry appearance on Friday, May 25, just a couple days before Memorial Day, Morgan invited two war veterans to join him on stage – Jimmy Sells, a US Navy Vietnam veteran and Ian Wagner, a US Army, Iraq & Afghanistan combat medic and Purple Heart recipient.
Together, they sang a song titled “The Last Monday in May,” which was written by six veterans of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan with the help of the organization Operation Song. The organization pairs veterans up with songwriters to write songs about what they’ve been through to help their healing process.
Each singer was able to showcase their talent by trading off solos, and joining forces for the powerful chorus. Knowing that the two men singing with Morgan are veterans made the performance so much more powerful.
The entire song is an emotional roller coaster, but when Wagner sang the lyrics, “My chopper went down in Iraq / One more week, I’d have made it back / Now my war and battle’s done / I rest in peace in Arlington,” tears welled up in our eyes.
“Last Monday in May” is a very real reminder of what these soldiers sacrifice while serving their country, and we thank each and every one of them for everything they’ve done for us.
Watch their moving performance in the video below.