Ave Maria – Healing the Wounds of War

If you didn’t know there is a suicide epidemic going on in the US right now well, I didn’t know either.

That is, until my good friend and videographer Mike Quinones asked if I would contribute a song to his film about PTSD-related military suicide called “Wounds of War.” Being involved in Mike’s project creatively and emotionally opened my eyes to this tragedy.

According to a report released by CNAS entitled Losing the Battle: The Challenge of Military Suicide, Army suicides have climbed steadily since 2004.  Between 2005 and 2010, the authors estimate a soldier took his/her own life every 36 hours.  Though only 1% of Americans serve in the military, this small population constitutes 20% of all suicides in the US.

In “Wounds of War”, Mike uses my original version of “Ave Maria” to underscore the tragedy of combat trauma and PTSD. If you have 5 minutes, watch this film – I feel it is well worth it.

The fact that Mike uses “Ave Maria” to underscore these after-effects of the War makes a sobering full-circle effect because I originally wrote “Ave Maria” for the one-year anniversary of 9/11.  This was when Americans’ hearts were full of fiery determination as we were just beginning the invasion into Afghanistan and Iraq.  Now, here we are, on the other side, and we are all seeing the consequences.

“Ave Maria” is a song for healing, a song for reflection.  It is for mourning our loss and it is for holding on to hope.  In the version I wrote I’m singing in Latin.  Here is the translation:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.  Blessed art Thou amongst women and blessed is thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

For more information on military issues, including PTSD, visit these sites:

Harvesting Happiness for Heros

PTSD Combat: Winning the War Within


24 thoughts on “Ave Maria – Healing the Wounds of War

  1. Hi Rae this is an incredible piece. It’s an epidemic to ungodly proportions and how sad it is that these folks suffer in silence. Your lovely voice, so clear and full of emotion, carries this beautiful prayer with tremendous grace and elegance – no wonder you were asked to be part of this important film. Your talent is large and deep – I’m so glad I found your blog. You are our gift from God.

    • Mary – thank you for taking the time to read and listen – this was a very meaningful project for me to be a part of. Also, thank you for your post about my blog! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support.

  2. Pingback: Rae – A Shy Gemini, an artist who inspires | Oil Pastels by Mary

  3. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with Team Orthodoxy! You are incredibly talented. Keep using your talents to praise God and bring honour to the most glorious lady, Mary.

    • Thank you for listening and reading my post. Songwriting is not about the songwriter, it is about the listener – the people that the song effects. It is my aim to be doing service for others in this way!

  4. Nothing new to say but I’ll say it anyways – absolutely beautiful voice!! 🙂 … I’m also glad this topic is being brought to the attention of others. Its almost never talked about despite its seriousness

    • Thank you – I love singing and am so happy I’m able to share that gift. I agree that war-related post traumatic stress disorder is a serious issue that needs to be discussed more. I’m thankful I was invited to be a part of this video project as it has taught me a lot.

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