On May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Bob Dylan the Medal of Freedom. The President said at the White House ceremony, “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music.” The medal is the most prestigious to be awarded to a civilian by a president.
The honor puts Dylan in the same company as Mother Theresa, John Wayne, John Steinbeck, Ella Fitzgerald, Warren Buffet, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Nelson Mandela, John F. Kennedy and many others.
This 1962 song by Dylan never made it on an official record by the folkie. It is about a mom, sending her son to a war. “Lots of medals you will get, and we’ll put them on the wall when you get home.”
The young soldier becomes permanently injured, after finding out how similar the enemy resembled him. The mother does not recognize him upon his return.
President Obama recognizes the dangers of war, and has committed to wind down involvement in Afghanistan. Yet, he has pushed back commitment for American military withdrawal there, and was also widely criticized for seeming to take credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.
It is one thing, and even simplistic, to campaign against war, but another thing to be in the highest office during times of complex conflict.
Also from politicaltunes: Bob Dylan’s Chimes of Freedom