Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today:
We play music from shows held to help victims of the terrorist attacks on September eleventh ...
answer a question about Veteran’s Day ...
and report about a campaign to help children in Afghanistan.
Helping Afghan Children
The United States is carrying out airstrikes against terrorists in Afghanistan responsible for the attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. on September eleventh. However, many Americans are concerned about the people of Afghanistan who are suffering as a result of the attacks. American children are trying to help. Shirley Griffith has more.
The United Nations says about four-hundred-thousand Afghan children are in danger of dying this winter because of cold weather and lack of food.
Last month, President Bush called on the children of America to help the children of Afghanistan. He asked each American child to give one dollar to help Afghan children.
The American Red Cross is organizing the campaign called “America’s Fund for Afghan Children.” The fund will help children in Afghanistan and those who are refugees in nearby countries. It will provide them with food, housing and medicine.
The White House reported an immediate reaction from America’s children. Schools in Washington, D-C. were the first to send money. Since then, students all over the country have sent dollars for the cause. So far, American children have provided more than one-million dollars.
Many children’s groups and schools are doing more than giving one dollar from each child. For example, many American children collected money for the United Nations Children’s Fund during Halloween last month. UNICEF says it will give the money collected to the Afghan children’s fund.
One school in the town of Springfield, Virginia sold candy and other products to earn more money for the fund. The school gave more than two-thousand dollars.
The head of the school said the students are not rich. But they wanted Afghan children to have shoes, warm clothing and hot meals during the cold winter months. The children said they wanted to send the money because Afghan children need food to grow and to learn. They said the United States is not at war with the children of Afghanistan, but only with the people who were responsible for killing American citizens.
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Vietnam. Binh Thanh Nguyen asks why the date of November eleventh was chosen to honor Americans who served in the military.
November eleventh is Veteran’s Day in the United States. It began as a day to honor those who served in World War One. President Woodrow Wilson signed a declaration in Nineteen-Nineteen naming November eleventh as Armistice Day. That date was chosen because Germany surrendered to end World War One at eleven o’clock in the morning on November eleventh, Nineteen-Eighteen.
Congress made Armistice Day a national holiday in Nineteen-Twenty-Six. The federal government closed on that day. Most state and local governments and all public schools closed too. Parades in almost every city honored the men and women who had helped bring peace to Europe.
In Nineteen-Forty-Five, Armistice Day celebrations also honored those who served in World War Two, which had just ended. Nine years later, Congress decided to change the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day. By then, almost six-million more Americans had served in another military campaign, the Korean War.
The number of veterans continued to increase. Almost nine-million Americans served in the military during the Vietnam War. Thousands of others took part in military campaigns in the Caribbean nation of Granada and in Panama. Hundreds of thousands of men and women served during the Persian Gulf War. Thousands also served as members of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Somalia. Others served to return the elected president to power in Haiti. And they helped keep peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Serbian province of Kosovo. Now, they have been carrying out attacks and ground operations in Afghanistan in the American-led war against terrorism.
Today, the word veteran includes anyone who has served in the military forces at any time. On Veteran’s Day, Americans will honor all the men and women who served their country in war and in peace.
Concerts For America
Many Americans have been raising money to help victims of the terrorist attacks on September eleventh. Entertainers are no exception. Shep O’Neal tells us about two recent concerts that have earned more than thirty-million dollars.
Paul McCartney, British musician and former member of the Beatles, organized the “Concert for New York City.” It was held at Madison Square Garden. People who lost family members in the destruction of the World Trade Center attended the show. Paul McCartney played a new song he wrote called “Freedom.”
Other performers included Bon Jovi, the Goo Goo Dolls, Billy Joel and Macy Gray. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones also performed.
Some musicians who played in New York also performed in Washington, D-C. the next day. That concert was called “United We Stand.” It was held outdoors at R-F-K Stadium. The Backstreet Boys sang “Drowning.”
((CUT TWO - DROWNING))
Singer Michael Jackson organized the “United We Stand” concert in the nation’s capital. He invited many performers, including the band Aerosmith, James Brown, Mariah Carey and Bette Midler. Jackson performed the final act of the show. We leave you now with Michael Jackson singing “Man in the Mirror.”
((CUT THREE - MAN IN THE MIRROR))
This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC—VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Nancy Steinbach, and Caty Weaver. Our studio engineer was Tom Verba. And our producer was Paul Thompson.