The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and the Bartholomew County Community mark the tenth anniversary of their Salute! concerts. The concerts take place at the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans in honor of those who have served and are serving. Conductor David Bowden leads the group with tenor Neil Jones in a program of patriotic and Americana music.
As a part of the evening Henry McCawley, Assistant Editor of Columbus’s “The Republic” will be reading a letter from the father of David Menke. Menke was killed by a bomb in Iraq. George Walker talked with McCawley about the letter and the story behind it.
“David Menke grew up in the Columbus area. He went to Iraq as part of a military police unit. David fell in love with the children there. He’d be out on patrol and they’d come and follow him. David would give them treats and talk with them.”
“David noticed that the streets were just a mess. There was no trash collection. He started encouraging those kids to pick things up and he’d give them little treats as rewards. The kids began coming to him with hands full of stuff to show that they’d done it.”
“Beanie bags and little cars seemed especially attractive to those children and he asked his parents to help out. They did and indeed the whole town of Madison started to help out. A local firm volunteered to package and ships the donations. Even though David died, the program is still going and at last count they’d sent more than ten thousand.”
“And that’s the story that I’ll be sharing as our community honors our men and women who have served and are serving.”
Salute!: A Free Community Concert to Honor Our Veterans
The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic conducted by David Bowden
Neil Jones, Vocal Soloist and Narrator + Harry McCawley, Letter Reading
Major General Mark Pillar, USAF (ret.) Military Ceremonies
Second and Washington Streets, Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans
Friday May 22, 2009 at 7 pm