Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Episode 550 (11-9-20): A Veterans Day Tribute through Virginia Sound and Song

 Click to listen to episode (4:50)

Sections below are the following:

Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Extra Information
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.)

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 11-6-20.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of November 9, 2020.

SOUND – ~ 8 sec

This Veterans Day week, the sound of a Bald Eagle opens an audio post card for veterans and for currently serving members of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, Space Force, and National Guard.  In gratitude for the hard, vital work they do, here’s a medley of water-related sounds—from a mountain stream to the James River to Chesapeake Bay waves, with some weather, birds, frogs, and human activities along the way.  That’s followed by music by the Nelson County- and Charlottesville, Va.-based band Chamomile and Whiskey; I’ve chosen their song “Nelson County” to stand in for wherever service members call home.  To any veterans or active service members listening, thank you and I hope you like this!

SOUNDS  - ~78 sec 

1 – Small stream on Brush Mountain in Blacksburg, Va., December 17, 2018.
2 – New Year’s morning wade-in at the New River in Giles County, Va., January 1, 2014.
3 - Special Olympics annual Polar Plunge
® into the New River at Radford, Va., January 29, 2011.
4 – Ice-skaters on a pond in Heritage Park in Blacksburg, Va., January 14, 2018.
5 - Red-winged Blackbird in Blacksburg, Va., March 26, 2015.

6 - Fishing line in Blacksburg, Va., June 23, 2016.
7 – Gray Tree Frog, Green Frog, and Spring Peeper in a pond in Blacksburg, Va., May 23, 2013.

8 – Rain and thunder in Blacksburg, Va., July 31, 2012.
9 - James River falls in Richmond, Va., February 17, 2014.

10 – Kayak paddling on the Potomac River, July 11, 2010.
11 – Voices at people visiting Dismal Falls in Bland County, Va., August 20, 2011.

12 – Mallards at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, Va., December 10, 2015.
13 – Waves on the Chesapeake Bay at Kent Island, Maryland, June 22, 2010.

MUSIC - ~43 sec

From Virginia’s mountains to its coast, on Veterans Day and all year round we’re indebted to, and grateful for, all U.S. service members, past and present.

Thanks to Lang Elliott for permission to use the Bald Eagle sounds, from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs. 

Thanks also to Chamomile and Whiskey for permission to use this week’s music, and we close with the last 20 seconds of “Nelson County.”

MUSIC - ~22 sec


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close this show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


The Bald Eagle sounds were from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott.  Lang Elliot’s work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.

Thanks to Michael Martz for recording the James River sound and to Blacksburg neighbors for recording the Dismal Falls sounds.  All other sounds were recorded by Virginia Water Radio.

“Nelson County,” from the 2017 album “Sweet Afton,” is copyright by Chamomile and Whiskey and County Wide Music used with permission.  More information about Chamomile and Whiskey is available online at https://www.chamomileandwhiskey.com/.  More information about County Wide Music is available online at https://countywidemusic.worldsecuresystems.com/.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.


Stream at the foot of Brush Mountain in Blacksburg, Va., December 17, 2018.

New River looking upstream from County Road 625 in Giles County, Va., January 1, 2019.

Male Red-winged Blackbird in California in 2009.  Photo by Lee Karney, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/natdiglib/id/6889/rec/3.

James River downstream of downtown Richmond, June 22, 2007.

Pair of Mallards at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, March 22, 2016.

Summer on the Rockfish River in Nelson County, Va.  Photo by Michael LaChance, used with permission.


Veterans Day

The information below on Veterans Day is quoted from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “History of Veterans Day,” online at https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp, as of 11/10/20.

“World War I—known at the time as ‘The Great War’—officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France.  However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of ‘the war to end all wars.’

“…In November 1919, [U.S.] President [Woodrow] Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: ‘To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…’  The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

“The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926. …

“An Act [of Congress] (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’  Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen in the Nation’s history, [and] after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word ‘Armistice’ and inserting in its place the word ‘Veterans.’  With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.”

Armed Forces Day

The following information on Armed Forces Day is quoted from Joseph Andrew Lee for the USO, “When is Armed Forces Day,” May 14, 2020, online at https://www.uso.org/stories/2225-when-is-armed-forces-day.

“Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May, and it is the day Americans celebrate their military.  In 2020, it falls on Saturday, May 16.

“Unlike Veterans Day (previously observed as Armistice Day, the end of World War I), which honors those who wore the cloth of our nation at war, and unlike Memorial Day, which honors those who died wearing the cloth of our nation at war, Armed Forces Day is the proper day to honor all of the men and women currently serving as well as those who have served and sacrificed to defend our freedom.

“Armed Forces Day was created on August 31, 1949, by then-Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson, to replace separate Army, Navy, and Air Force Days.  The event stemmed from the Armed Forces’ unification under one Department of Defense by then-President Harry S. Truman when he signed the National Security Act into law on July 26, 1947.”


Joseph Andrew Lee for the USO, “When is Armed Forces Day,” May 14, 2020, online at https://www.uso.org/stories/2225-when-is-armed-forces-day.

National Guard, “Guard and Reserve members receive ‘Veteran’ status,’” by Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy, National Guard Bureau, 12/28/16.

Special Olympics Virginia, “Polar Plunge®, online at https://www.polarplunge.com/.

U.S. Department of Defense, “Our Forces,” online at https://www.defense.gov/Our-Story/Our-Forces/.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Veterans Day Frequently Asked Questions,” online at https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetday_faq.asp.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “History” subject category. 

Following are links to other episodes for Veterans Day.

Episode 239, 11-10-14 – on the U.S. Coast Guard.
Episode 289, 11-9-15
– on the U.S. Navy.
Episode 341, 11-7-16
– on the U.S. Air Force.
Episode 394, 11-13-17
– on the U.S. Army.
Episode 446, 11-12-18
– on the U.S. Marine Corps.
Episode 498, 11-11-19
– on all military services.


Following are some Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by this episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.

2020 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2018 Science SOLs

Grades K-5 Earth Resources
4.8 – The student will investigate and understand that Virginia has important natural resources, including watersheds and water and plants and animals.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Grades K-3 Civics Theme
2.5 – why U.S. citizens celebrate major holidays.

Grades K-3 History Theme
1.2 – Virginia history and life in present-day Virginia.

Virginia Studies Course
VS.9 – how national events affected Virginia and its citizens.
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia. 

United States History: 1865-to-Present Course
USII.8 – economic, social, and political transformation of the United States and the world after World War II.
USII.9 – domestic and international issues during the second half of the 20th Century and the early 21st Century.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.

Virginia and United States History Course
VUS.14 – political and social conditions in the 21st Century.

Government Course
GOVT.7 – national government organization and powers.
GOVT. 12 – role of the United States in a changing world, including responsibilities of the national government for foreign policy and national security.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15
– on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15
– on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16
– on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16
– on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18
– on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18
– on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18
– on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18
– on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19
– on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.
Episode 524, 5-11-20
– on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.
Episode 531, 6-29-20
– on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.
Episode 539, 8-24-20
– on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.