John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
The song "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden" is an old German song that Germans, Austrians and French will play at funerals of soldiers. The American's traditionally play "Taps" at a soldier's funeral. The words to this song strike a memory in my mind.
Text by Ludwig Uhland Translation
Ich Hatt' einen Kamaraden, I had a comrade. Einen bessern findst du nit. You won't find a better one. Die Trommmel schlug zum Streite, The drum was rolling for battle, Er ging an meiner Seite He marched at my side :In gleichem Schritt and Tritt.: in the same stride
Eine Kugel kam geflogen: A bullet flew towards us Gilt's mir oder gilt es dir? Is it meant for me or meant for you? Ihn hat es weggerissen, It took him away, Er liegt vor meinen Fussen He lies beneath my feet :Als w"ar's ein St"uck von mir: Like a piece of myself.
Will mir die Hand noch reichen, He wants to give me his hand,
Derweil ich eben lad". while I reload the gun. "Kann dir die Hand nicht geben, "I can't give you my hand, Bleib du im ew'gen Leben rest in eternal life
:Mein guter Kamerad!": my good comrade!"
This song reminds me of men in the military service of the United States. It shows how the military personnel stand side by side as they battle our enemies. Nobody wants to lose a friend in combat, but these things happen in combat. This song show some of the closeness of the military as they go to fight for us. Many good service people have given their lives that we might have the freedom that we enjoy today. Take the time to say thank you to the people who fight to save our freedom. Freedom does not come cheap. Remember all of the service people who have gone before us and now have passed on. Salute the American flag and show how you feel towards our country, the land of the free and the brave. Even though this song is German, we can still honor it as a reminder of what our servicemen and women have done for us. Honor our veterans and service people. God bless the United States of America.