Sunday, July 3, 2016

Strike up the Band--or Not!

Military bands are under attack by the Congress.

The New York Times, in an article titled Military is Asked to March to a Less Expensive Tune, reports that the budgets for military bands are being reduced in and effort to help the military achieve its end strength goals. The article traces some of the history of US military bands and notes that in 1862 there were nearly 15,000 bandsmen in the Union forces.

I have often enjoyed the music of military bands. 

The patriotic sounds, not played anywhere else, represent a unique piece of American history that could easily be lost if the military were not preserving it for future generations. 

The article does point out that the DoD spends more on music than any other part of the government. But, does that make it wrong?

Without military bands, I worry that some our our uniquely American music would be lost. While the article points out that no one in Congress is advocating the dissolution of military bands, I found the following paragraph interesting:

Leaders in the Pentagon quietly grumble that by focusing on bands, Congress is going after small potatoes. The military has for years proposed base closings that it estimates would save more than $2 billion a year, but Congress has not acted on the politically troublesome proposals that could cut jobs in their districts.

Strike up the bands! 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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