original colored pencil by Hannah Dautel
original colored pencil by Hannah Dautel
As we come to the close of Military Appreciation Month, Ajax salutes our nation’s five branches of service, and honors the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Wishing you a reflective Memorial Day from all of Team Ajax.
All images © 2017 Hannah E. Dautel
What an honor to have the 1st Marine Division Band perform “Hop To It!” as part of their annual concert series! SSgt. Alexander Panos, Marine Musician of the Year (2015), conducted his own arrangement of Sarah’s original composition.
Officers of the 1st Marine Division Band presented Sarah and Hannah with a commemorative framed score of “Hop To It!”.
Thanks to SSgt. Panos and CWO3 Stephanie Wire for two memorable evenings.
And thanks to our new patrons for their support!
We are delighted to announce that the 1st Marine Division Band will be performing the Ajax Bound for Glory theme song “Hop To It!” as part of their upcoming concert series, April 4th and 5th at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Bring the whole family along for an uplifting, toe-tapping evening of music – you’ll see why these Marine musicians were our inspiration for Ajax!
Admission is free, though tickets are required (and going fast!) Please visit http://artcenter.org/event/marine-band/2017-04-04/ for more information.
We hope to see you there!
Fifteen years ago seems like just yesterday, when the horrific news of September 11th invaded our home on that quiet Tuesday morning. Young enough that we had not been aware of “terrorism”, and yet old enough to own the sense of violation, it was as if we ourselves had been attacked. Those images will forever be seared in our minds.
In the years following 9/11, as many of our peers were being deployed and sacrificing life and limb—on our behalf—our young patriotic spirits burned with the question, “What can we do?”
Fifteen years later, we are about to answer that question. Now two months out from publication, never would we have imagined that a children’s book would be our humble tribute to this generation of Americans answering the call of duty. In a sense, it wasn’t our own idea; another Author placed it on our hearts.
We write for the children of our peers who have paid the price for freedom. Some of those children will never know the parent who made the ultimate sacrifice. For others families, years of adjustment are ahead as they heal from the wounds of war.
But we also write for the many children who are not faced with the sober realities of military life. We want to inspire patriotism in them, to impress upon these children that there is indeed a cost attached to freedom, and show how we can honor those who have paid it.
Sarah E. Dautel
on behalf of Team Ajax
Photo credit: National Park Service
*Update: several readers have brought to my attention some confusion over the author of this piece. To clarify, it is not a quote from one of the Signers, but rather a tribute I wrote as if I had been a Signer.
My fellow Countrymen,
There has been laid before us this day a most honorable Document, offspring of the vigorous mental powers of our dear Mr. Jefferson, a Declaration of Independence of these United Colonies from their Mother Country, Great Britain. Each of us here present has given careful consideration to the Document at hand, and each of us comprehends the gravity of what this Declaration entails. As for me though, Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I shall sign this Declaration. But before so doing, I should like to lay before you my reasons for which I shall here affix my name.
“But freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well thought lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”
Ronald Reagan, 1961