D-DAY…we must always remember

 “Soldiers, sailors and airmen…The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving peoples everywhere march with you”               General Dwight D. Eisenhower, D-Day message

I watched a young man on the news last night, in Normandy with his great grandfather, overlooking the wide open beach and the impossibly rugged, tall cliffs of the Normandy coast, saying honestly, “I can’t imagine putting my life on the line to cross that beach under heavy fire…I don’t think many of us can.” And yet, if we can’t imagine it, how are we to remember it and to honor the courage and the sacrifice of the thousands who gave their lives for our freedom? I remember as a teenager watching in awe and respect as the Cornelius Ryan book, The Longest Day, came to life on the “big screen.”

The complexity of the operation, the sheer logistical nightmare that it was, the impossible odds of making it across the beach or up those cliffs was almost overwhelming. In 1998, I was overcome by emotion and watched the first half hour of Saving Private Ryan with my hands covering my eyes and tears running down my face, as the reality of D-Day, raw and far too real, pounded my senses so that I could almost smell the fear, and the blood, of those who were part of the D-Day invasion. Over 40% of those who disembarked on the beach on June 6, 1944, died under the never ending hail of fire that peppered the beach or picked off individual men as they struggled up over the cliffs. I sat enthralled and so awed through the 10 hours of Band of Brothers which Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielburg produced after Hanks had starred in Saving Private Ryan.

Seventy years after that day, I can stand in freedom and put my hand over my heart to salute a flag stained by the blood of heroes…and pray that the world, which has too often forgotten the lessons of war, might remember this sacrifice too and work for the peace so hard won, in good part because of those who died in Normandy 70 years ago.

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You can see my full portfolio at http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com

Eternal Father Strong to Save digital painting by Lianne Schneider buy now

The GUITAR is king…

“Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.”

Andre Segovia

From classical guitarist, Andre Segovia to the hard-rocking, Kurt Cobain, guitarists throughout the ages have played this beautifully expressive instrument and moved our souls, lifted our spirits and brought us to tears. We may debate whether Robert Johnson, the ground-breaking black Mississippi blues singer and guitarist should be ranked #1 among the best guitar players in the world or whether that honor should go to Jimi Hendrix, but in the end, that’s less important than the influence they have had on music. Johnson’s legacy of recordings is the undisputed foundation upon which all modern blues and rock music rests. Hendrix took every possible sound from acoustic to electric and blended it into something that went so far beyond the drugs that it left people high who had never taken a drug in their lives.

Guitars and guitar players have been the most essential component of contemporary music since John Lee Hooker stuck a microphone in his guitar while singing those angry, raspy Delta blues back in the early 1940s. The never to be forgotten B.B. King made that inevitable. Once the big band orchestra style era ended, the guitar became the backdrop for almost all popular music and that’s still true today. (It has been brought to my attention by a reader that I neglected one of the most talented and innovative guitarists of our time – the legendary Les Paul – whose design and electronic contributions to guitar manufacturing really can’t be measured. Dozens of superstars like Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney have played a Gibson-Les Paul guitar.)

In 1968, Beatles member, George Harrison wrote a song that was eventually to be listed as #136 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, #7 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time, and #10 on their list of The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs. In an online poll held by Guitar World magazine in February 2012, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was voted the best of Harrison’s Beatle-era songs. The recorded version includes a guitar solo by another of the top 20 guitar players of all time – Eric Clapton. Arguably one of the Beatles finest songs, it never won the acclaim of other hits. But the lyrics can’t help but touch your heart.

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You can see my entire portfolio or purchase a print of this image at:

http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com

While My Guitar Gently Weeps by Lianne Schneider buy print