“Inspired by the courageous men and women who put themselves in harm’s way day in and day out to protect us and our shared values”
This song started with a melody in my head about 3 years ago and a completely different path with respect to lyrics. As the song was evolving, the Boston Marathon bombings reminded me and countless others just how close to home terror can strike, and how it can affect the simple things in life that we often take for granted. Then the horrific events of October of 2014 transpired right on our own soil. Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo were killed in separate terror events two days apart.
It was that moment when this song veered down a different path. To pay honour and respect to those who so selflessly serve to protect our rights and freedom – not only in distant lands; not only those who fought hard historical battles; but those among us who currently serve, and those with future aspirations to stand on guard.
My grandfather fought with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in WWI (the affiliated regiment served by Cpl Cirillo). My father served in the army in the 1960’s. And my son has aspirations to serve either in the military or police.
I am proud of my family's heritage of service and hope that this song conjures strong emotions in those who listen to it. Emotions that never let us forget the sacrifices made by many; that celebrate our heritage of banding together to stand on guard for what is right; that strengthen our resolve to continue the tradition of our brave men and women who protect our freedom.
I hope that others are inspired to share their own stories of people in their lives who have served either in the military or as first responders. It is important that we – and in particular our young generation – hear these stories of past and modern-day heroes, and inspire others to serve in whatever capacity they can.
Any proceeds from the sale of this song on iTunes support True Patriot Love Foundation and Wounded Warriors Canada for all the great work they do with military, first responders and their families.
As with any project, this was truly a team effort. My thanks go out to many, and in particular the following:
Andrew Craig – Producer, Editor and fellow Class of ’88 SMCS
St. Michael’s Choir School Tenor and Bass choir, under the direction of Ms. Teri Dunn
Brett Lalonde – Artist and nephew
Brittany Silva – Web site, marketing and promotion and niece
Jillian Kelly – YouTube video
Countless individuals who helped review lyrics, refine strategy, leverage their own influence to contribute to the success of this project, including: Halton Regional Police, Toronto Fire Department, The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Stephen Handrigan, Anne MacIsaac, Sydney Wood, Trisha Kelly, Jeff Corey, Joe Curtis, Serge Perreault, Leigh Collett, Jane Hamilton, Shawn Lalonde, Al Manderla, Reg Vertolli (Metroland Publications), the staff and leadership of True Patriot Love and Wounded Warriors Canada.
The musicians who contributed to the recording
- Chris Sutherland, Drums; Ross Griffiths, Pipes and whistle; Rich Grossman, Guitar; Andrew Craig, Piano and synthesizers; Mike Herriott, Brass
To my wife Lisa who provided her full love and encouragement for this project, my parents Fran and Nick who sacrificed to give me opportunities, my sisters Kelly and Tracy who inspire me, my son Michael and step-children Ryan and Stefanie who all continue to teach me what life is really about, and my friends who have kept me close to music and who keep the fun in life.