May 26, 2017

Here’s Your Memorial Day Playlist

By Rebecca Kaufman

Back on The Diane Rehm Show, when it came to Memorial Day, Diane and the producers (happily) took the day off, like many of you do. Instead of putting on live shows we would select special holiday rebroadcasts.  They were always shows we loved, and they often had to do with the themes of the day – honoring those who have died serving in the armed forces, as well as marking the start of summer.

Are you looking for some good Memorial Day listening? Here’s a selection of some of those holiday shows from over the years.

  • How One Family Is Working To Address Suicide In The Military: This is the story of the Grahams. They lost two sons: one in combat in Iraq and one to suicide. But the Grahams were astonished by the different reactions their deaths received from the Army. In a 2015 book, Yochi Dreazen, foreign editor at Vox, showed how this family channeled their grief into working to transform the military’s approach to soldiers with mental illness.
  • New Reasons To Get Kids Outdoors: It’s obvious, right? Kids love the outdoors. But experts say it doesn’t happen enough. And now there’s a growing body of research showing that going outdoors more often prevents obesity, reduces symptoms of ADHD, and may even stimulate learning.  It also helps creates the next generation of environmental stewards.
  • A High School Teacher’s Commencement Speech That Went Viral: High school teacher David McCullough, Jr. gave a commencement speech at a school outside of Boston in 2012. He thought his audience was the graduating class, but the electronic world was eavesdropping. The 12-minute speech went viral. McCullough’s speech startled many because his message was unusual. “You are not special,” he told the students.
  • A Fictional Account of Watergate: Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey, his Tweet regarding “tapes”, and reports that he asked intelligence officials to “push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government” means we’re hearing many comparisons to Nixon and Watergate these days. Here’s a 2012 interview with author Thomas Mallon about his novel that attempts to capture the mystery at the center of the Watergate scandal.

Want to add to the list? Let us know what you are listening to. Email us at


comments powered by Disqus