I am a physician, musician and songwriter with the New Jersey VA. I created a therapeutic music and arts program called “A Few Good Notes,” in which I recruit VA employees and patients to perform music with me for Veterans in VA hospitals and outpatient clinics.

Feeling nostalgic during the pandemic, I contacted my former Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra conductor, when I was in high school: Dr. Matteo Giammario (“Maestro Matteo’), 96.

I told him about songs I composed and he offered to write the piano arrangements. We have since been collaborating on a number of my inspirational songs meant to lift and comfort others during this unprecedented and challenging time.

Composed special song for Veterans Day

Every year I volunteer to perform at the Veterans Day Service at Princeton University Chapel. I composed a song with Veterans Day in mind called, “Thank you, Veterans!” This year, I will sing it at the Princeton University Chapel on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. The performance will be live streamed on the Princeton University website at 9 a.m. ET. Feel free to sing along – here are the lyrics:

Thank you, Veterans!

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day
we honor our Veterans who bravely led the way

and forged a path to freedom for flag red, white and blue
Heroes whose oath of freedom shines bright for me and you

Thank you, Veterans! who dedicate your lives
Thank you, Veterans! for service, sacrifice

Thank you, Veterans! together you fulfill
Liberty’s vision Freedom’s mission

Thank you, Veterans! Liberty’s vision
Freedom’s mission Thank you, Veterans!

I performed it for “Maestro Matteo.” He thanked me for the song because he is a Veteran. He then told me about his call to service as a World War II Veteran in the Pacific. He told me a number of war stories and experiences like it was yesterday.

Paying tribute and giving back to Veterans

It is special that as a VA employee, writing this song in honor of Veterans for Veterans Day, I discovered that Matteo was a Veteran and that together, we are sharing our music to pay tribute and give back to other Veterans.

The photo above is me and Matteo with the score.

“Thank you, Veterans!” is a song which honors and salutes Veterans like Matteo who have served our country in years past, and those who are serving now, for forging our freedom and liberty through their enduring mission to our country and world.

Thank you, Veterans!

By Dr. Mary Rorro is a psychiatrist for the New Jersey VA

Share this story

Published on Nov. 11, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 359

2 Comments

  1. Billy Wilson November 17, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    So sad there is one VA to veterans. Not the Vha and Vba nor private contractors all which work for the VA not the veteran.

  2. Ashkan Kashanchi November 11, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    Happy Veteran’s Day!

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • Should brain injury caused by a blast wave from an explosion be considered distinct from a TBI caused by a physical impact?

  • Seeing a doctor can be a challenge for people living in rural communities. That’s why VA is making it easier than ever for Veterans to access health care. 

  • Over 750 potential candidates lined up as early as 6:30 a.m. Sept. 24, seeking employment with Birmingham VA.