For more than 80 years, members of the Air Force have sung the U.S. Air Force Song at ceremonies and graduations.
You know the song, which opens with:”Off we go, into the wild blue yonder.”
But now the PC police have won in their battle to alter the song into gender-neutral lyrics.
“The song’s third verse, a bridge which begins, ‘Here’s a toast to the host/Of those who love the vastness of the sky/To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly,’ didn’t sit right with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein,” The Air Force Times reports.
At the Air Force Association’s conference in Orlando, Florida, Thursday, Goldfein recalled attending a women’s volleyball tournament at the Pentagon last year, when the U.S. Air Force Academy thoroughly beat the other service academy teams.
As Goldfein sang the third verse of the Air Force Song with the female cadets, it was apparent to him that the lyrics left them out, even as the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point had both updated their songs more than a decade ago.
So, Goldfein said, he’s ordered the song to be tweaked slightly, to reflect that fact that women serve in the Air Force.
In the new version, the line is changed to: “To a friend we send a message of the brave who serve on high.”
“Our song must reflect our history, the inspiring service and accomplishments of all who’ve served, and the rich diversity that makes today’s Air Force indisputably the strongest and most capable in the world,” Goldfein wrote in a message to airmen, cadets and academy alumni.
“These are the women we will ask to go into combat and fight, just as women have done for a generation,” Goldfein said. “Yet this version of the song, their alma mater, was not about them. … It is time for us to change.”
He added that the changes “are about adding to, not subtracting from, who we are. Changing the lyrics in no way diminishes the history and accomplishments of men or dilutes our eternal gratitude for their sacrifice and bravery.”
“These new lyrics speak more accurately to all we do, all that we are, and all that we strive to be as a profession of arms,” Goldfein said. “They add proper respect and recognition to everyone who serves and who has served. This respect and recognition is not only appropriate, it is fully earned.”