Throughout the years, many artists have used some form of art to depict different meanings of war. The poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” by Francis Scott Key depicts how America still stood after a British bombardment, but many people know the poem as America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”. This poem shows the resilience of people who are willing to stand and defend their honor. Other medians have used movies to portray the willingness of American soldiers to defend people who are being oppressed in another country by their own people, one movie being “Black Hawk Down”, where a group of soldiers are there to protect the weak and when one of their own goes down, the story goes from defending the natives to saving their own “brothers.” Artists portray every aspect of the war from the good to the bad. One video that shows neither side of the war happening at the frontlines but here at home with our families is “When are you coming Home”, sang by Heather Martin. It tells of a little girl who misses her brother who has joined the Army and is fighting in Iraq at the time of the video. It shows the emotional battles fought here in the families as they miss their loved ones, but understand what they are doing and are grateful for what they are doing.
The scene opens up with Heather Martin rubbing her eyes, when most people have taken this as her wiping away her tears. Cindy Martin, a friend of the family, has stated that Heather is just rubbing her eyes as most young children do. The rubbing of the eyes adds a sense of emotion even before the song begins. The background pictures a preacher and an altar portraying that the song is being sung at a small church where everyone is a family member. The sense of being in a small church adds to the effect that the people there are very close.
Everything from the beginning to the background adds to the song’s emotional lyrics. “After one year of college you knew what you had to do. It’s just like you wanting to help with the war” tells that Shaun, the brother being sung about had decided what he wanted to do to keep the country safe, which included his baby sister. All Heather can sing about is wanting her brother to come home and how things are different at home without him, “We lit up the house like we always do but it doesn’t seem bright ’cause we can’t have you.” She expresses her emotion of what she would like to do but can do whatever he wants, just as long as she can be around him, “Maybe we could go and get some ice cream together but I really don’t care what we do.”
In a personal interview with Joseph Rother, who served in the military, was sent to conflicts of Sierra Leone and Kosovo, he mentions how things were difficult over there but little things made a difference. He said, “When you see that flag flying on the Humvee or being carried by a local, it reminded me of what I was doing. We fight so that others don’t have to.”
Art has always portrayed every aspect of war, some being the bad but some people do find some good in the art. Artist may show just a picture, make a movie and even write about it, but it’s the reader’s interpretation in the emotions and happenings that add to the artist’s response to war.
Heather Martin “When are you coming Home”: