Guest Author - Chris Curtis
I have to confess, I have never made it to Washington, DC or to visit the Vietnam Memorial known as the Wall. I can only imagine the solemn vibe which radiates from the names of those who gave their life. I am blessed to not have a loved one etched there but I believe I would find at least two friends there. I would guess the deep emotional feeling I felt at the Arizona Memorial in Oahu, HI would be similar to visiting this historic memorial. Proud, patriotic, honored, sadness, reverence, haunted, blessed, joyful, hopeful feelings all comingled in a mix of emotions. The Wall is a place I intend to visit.
Dailey and Vincent – the reigning IBMA entertainers of the year for 2008 an 2009 – chose to feature "More than a Name on a Wall" on their debut CD project and continue to perform it in their live shows. The tight bond between these two vocalists brings an uncommonly natural and seemingly effortless balance between their harmonies. The blend of their vocals on this tune adds to the depth of emotion conjured by the haunting words of the song.
Dailey and Vincent admit to being highly influenced by the Statler Brothers. In fact, they have a completed project for Cracker Barrel of Statler Brothers covers. "More than a Name on a Wall" is an original Statler Brothers' tune penned by Jimmy Fortune/John Rimel in April 1989.
While this heartfelt tune honors our fallen heroes during the Vietnam Conflict, it is timeless for all the families who have lost their sons and daughters in any combat situation.
They lyrics speak of a mother who visits "The Wall" and finds her son's name. In tears, she begins to pray to her God that he may tell her son how much she misses him. She explains that all she has is her memories. She remembers how he would always be playing war during his childhood – but he grew up to die for his country. Wishing she could see him one more time, she acknowledges that he's not coming home this time. She thanks God for her memories and asks him to tell her son that to her, he's more than a name upon a wall.
Jamie Dailey and Darren Vincent joined Jimmy Fortune who wrote this poignant tune at the 25th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Memorial. The three of them performed the song during the ceremony. During a conversation, I had with Jamie and Darren, they expressed the pride and honor they felt in participating is this solemn ceremony. They also recalled many poignant moments while performing this song during their shows. They confirmed it is usually met with tears. In one such show, an obvious veteran stood with his hand over his heart and tears in his eyes during the entire rendition of the song. This is patriotism at its best.