Saturday, February 28, 2015

Music: a tale of compassion

"I shook the hand of the enemy. He was no enemy, because music soothed a savage beast."
World War II veteran Jack Leroy Tueller tells an unforgettable story about the power of music--and the power of compassion.  One evening, about one week past D-Day, after having witnessed the killing of women and children, Jack decided to play his trumpet to release some stress--even though he was advised not to do so because one German sniper was still out there, threatening his unit. Despite the risk, Jack decided to play a German love song, "Lili Marleen" by Marlene Dietrich. The sniper was so moved  by his playing that he couldn’t shoot and surrendered. The next morning Jack met the young German sniper, who said he couldn’t fire after being soothed by the love song. By choosing to play “his love song,” Jack had recognized the fear and loneliness common to all of us.

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