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Dierks Bentley, Eric Church + More Reflect on True Meaning of Memorial Day

Dierks Bentley, Eric Church
Rick Diamond (2), Getty Images

On Memorial Day, we remember our fallen American soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in all wars. These heroes fought for our freedom without selfishly thinking of what could be at stake for them and their families.

When it comes to country music stars, they think no differently than we do. Here is what some of your favorite stars have to say about the very special and emotional day for so many:

Dierks Bentley: “My dad was a second lieutenant in the army. My dad’s older then most dads. My dad had me when he was 51 … or helped have me when he was 51. It’s amazing … he served in WW2. He was in Japan, and he doesn’t tell me too many stories about it, but I know for him, he really enjoyed his time in the army. He grew up in a town of 1,200 people, [so] to join the army [was] a chance to go overseas and see some of the world. He really enjoyed the men in his company and lost some friends over there. He doesn’t talk too much about that aspect of it, but he has nothing but good memories of being able to serve and be part of that. What a feeling that must be that I will never know, to put on that uniform — American flag patch on your shoulder — and you’re out there literally fighting for the flag … fighting with your brothers next to you and for everyone back home. So it’s just something that we can never really honestly have a sense of how that feels, but certainly we can honor them.”

Eric Church: “It’s about, especially the soldiers I come in contact with on the road. And not only that, to be able to make the music that I’m able to make, to say what I want to say, and that freedom to be able to do those things and to be in a country where we’re able to do that and to be in a country where we’re able to play that stuff on the radio. I don’t think you’re going to have any American argue that America isn’t the best place to live, and I’m certainly one of them. I’m very proud to be from here and very proud that we have the soldiers. I know there are a lot of other countries out there in the world that don’t want to live the way we do, and that’s fine, they can keep living the way they are, but I’m very proud of it. I think that’s a time to celebrate being proud to be an American and celebrate those freedoms, and celebrate the people that are over fighting for those freedoms.”

Little Big Town‘s Karen Fairchild: “It’s such a huge sacrifice what these men and women do for us — not only the ones that are serving, but the families that are left here at home. Kimberly and I met a young girl … she’s 21 years old, and she has a third baby, and her husband has served multiple times overseas. She’s raising these children at home and doing a great job and the best that she can, and he’s serving our country. He’s making a monstrous sacrifice, but so is she, and so are those children. And we just can’t take it for granted. I mean, it’s just a huge commitment that they make, and what an honor. We love to be able to sing for them and entertain them and to say thank you whenever we can.”

Keith Urban (Urban wrote and recorded his latest single, ‘For You,’ for the film, ‘Act of Valor,’ which was inspired by real life events and stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs): “They have a mantra, and they say ‘The only easy day was yesterday’ and they had this spirit of brotherhood. That’s a particular thing that’s the way in which, I think, it exists is very specific to the Seals. I mean, military in general have this very strong brotherhood code; it’s a particular kind of thing in the Seals. As was the testament, to Lt. Roark who is the lead guy in the film. When he was interviewed, [he] talked about funerals he had been to, and he says ‘there isn’t really any one of us who isn’t just a little bit jealous of the guy who’s died.’ That’s a particular way of being that I cannot relate to. That is an unbelievable depth of commitment and conviction.”

[All quotes courtesy of Capitol Records Nashville]

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