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Happy Memorial Day. Today we honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. String bands have done many military inspired tributes over the years, but one military inspired tribute was very controversial at the time. I’m referring to Aqua String Band’s 1989 theme “We Remember”.

“We Remember” was a salute to the veterans of the Vietnam War. Band members wore sequined costumes in camouflage colors and webbed belts with toy grenades. From what I remember as a kid and what I was able to research, the crowd reaction was mixed. Some saw it as a fitting tribute to the veterans of the Vietnam War and others saw it as disrespectful. Even the TV announcers didn’t know exactly how to react to seeing it. The performance gave Pat Ciarrocchi ” Goosebumps” and Ray Murray called it ” One of the most unusual presentations in all of String Band history”.

Aqua captain Al Primavera Jr. was quoted in a 1989 Daily News article as saying “This is the most daring theme I’ve ever seen a band do…Some people might think it’s an insult, but we checked with veterans’ groups and they liked the idea. We wanted people to remember.”

What do you think?