For Veterans: Music Alone Shall Heal

The Veteran’s Day service, staged last November by the Army ROTC’s Tiger Battalion at Princeton University Chapel, featured a speech by healthcare expert Uwe Reinhardt, the presentation of a check to the Wounded Warriors Project, and some perfectly beautiful music. Mary Rorro, a staff psychiatrist at the veterans’ affairs clinic in Brick, stood in the pulpit to play, unaccompanied, Amazing Grace and some other poignant melodies.

I had a brief conversation with her about how her music helps patients, and how she works with Give an Hour Foundation, which encourages mental health professionals to donate time to veterans and their families. She hopes that other health professionals will follow her lead to provide music.

Now Rorro has been featured in a PBS special “Healthy Minds,”, shown yesterday and repeating Tuesday, February 17 at 11:30 p.m. on New York’s WLIW 21. Michele Angermiller, a freelance writer, tells about Rorro’s life (she grew up in Lawrenceville and played with the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra) in the Times of Trenton in “An Overture to Treatment,” published today.

In times of grief or trauma, what comes to my mind are the lyrics to a Girl Scout song, a canon, “Music Alone Shall Live.” Sometimes music is the only thing that helps.

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