A sunset hymn for my late Aunt Mary Jane

— “By shortly after noon all our assault troops were landed,” Wilkinson wrote. “So I went down the harbor to see Bill Halsey and the old Third Fleet crowd…He promptly took me over to a very impressive sunset ceremony Admiral Fraser was having on the [HMS battleship] Duke of York. Massed bands of all the British troops played splendid martial music and…the sunset hymn, John Ellerton’s ‘The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended.’

“The…music floated over the calm waters of the bay to American bluejackets, touched the mystic chords of memory and sentiment, reminding all hands that…if victory over Japan meant anything beyond a change in the balance of power, it meant that eternal values and immovable principles had been reaffirmed and re-established Often these principles are broken, often these values are last to sight when people are struggling for survival; but to them man must return…in order to enjoy his Creator’s greatest gifts —life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

So, Wilkinson noted, “nothing could have been more appropriate” than the massed bands’ performance of that sunset hymn. Remembering that music and the selfless service of thousands of veterans such my Uncle Ed, who died in 1998, and my Aunt Mary Jane was similarly appropriate. The day you gave, Lord, is ended.

Twelve years ago, Maka Rouge hadn’t even thought about becoming a professional musician. She was a Southern California skateboard punk.

After breaking her elbow in 2000 in a skateboarding accident, however, she was told she would be disabled, but the stubborn blonde refused to accept that dire diagnosis. Instead, she worked hard to rehabilitate her arm by playing guitar. Then the self-taught six-stringer began writing music.

Maka Rouge will perform tunes such as “Peace in the City” from her recent self-titled CD at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Café at 407 at 407 at Ophelia’s Place, 407 Tulip St., in the village of Liverpool. Admission is free; 451-5544.

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