Listen as Tim McGraw brings a fallen soldier’s last goodbye to life YouTube
Tim McGraw singing "If You're Reading This" on 2007 ACM's

Few songs pack a bigger punch than this.

It’s tough enough to hear Tim McGraw sing “If You’re Reading This,” the story of a fallen soldier’s last letter home, asked to be sent only if he was killed in the line of duty. Yet as tough as it is to hear that goodbye, it’s seeing who they’re writing to that really punches you in the heart.

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As the song rings out and the lights on Tim and his band go dark, the lights behind them go up illuminating 100 families of fallen soldiers beneath a large banner that reads “Families of Fallen Heroes.”

It’s songs like this that make country music what it is. This is just a guy that wrote a song that flowed from the heart. A song we all need to remember when we’re sitting outside enjoying our Memorial Day weekend, or our Fourth of July barbecue, or actually any day we’re lucky to be alive. We get to enjoy this country and the life we live because of men and women like this…and letters like these.

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Because if you’re hearing this, there’s someone you don’t know lying in that open field out on the edge of town. Whose soul is where his mama prayed that it would go. And if you’re hearing this, that soldier’s already home.

Based in Chicago but often in Nashville, Ken Churilla is a contributor for Rare Country. Follow him @KenChurilla and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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