Mary Travers Honored In Star-Studded Memorial
A four hour memorial service for folk icon Mary Travers was held at historic Riverside Church in Manhattan on Monday evening, November 9th. Travers died of complications from chemotherapy she had received for a bone marrow transplant after she developed leukemia in September.
Noted for her social consciousness, Mary was always ready to raise her voice in support of the progressive causes she believed in, and many of those who had joined with her were at the church to honor her memory.
Among the famous mourners were fellow folk singers Pete Seeger and Judy Collins, political figures John Kerry and George McGovern, and of course, her bandmates, Peter and Paul.
The Peter, Paul and Mary trio were responsible for interpreting many of the songs that defined their generation: "Blowing in the Wind," "Puff, the Magic Dragon," "If I had a Hammer," and of course her own show piece, "Leaving on a Jet Plane." They were all noted for their social activism. Pictures of the three of them at the head of protest marchers and on stage at rallies are legendary.
According to the account in the New York Times, Whoopi Goldberg said of the group: "They said: 'This belongs to you. This land is your land. If you don’t like what’s going on, get up and say something. Get up and sing. Get up and march.'"
A video of Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and a stage filled with those paying tribute to Mary singing the classic Woody Guthrie anthem, "This Land is Your Land" is available on You Tube.