One might think that, now that Pete Seeger has died, he is in the past - history.
Not so, I say. Pete Seeger's passing has brought notice to his life and his wonderful work, his integrity, his powerful music.
Pete Seeger didn't smoke. He didn't drink. He was a loving husband and father through the decades. He built a home for his wife and children in the forest with his own hands. No running water. No electricity. And there he raised his family.
When his public appearances were to depend on tobacco advertising, he refused to perform. Better to go hungry than to sell your soul.
This was a man of excellent principle. He fought to clean the pollution from the Hudson River. He was against Hitler, against tobacco, against unjust war (Viet Nam).
Pete Seeger was accused of being a Communist. He would not be pressured by the right-wingers into saying he was or he was not. He said he was an American and he had a right to his own opinions, just as did his accusers.
When the great masses of Americans trembled in fear of Communism and were silent as Senator McCarthy and his lackeys tore lives apart, Pete joined the movement because the communists were against bigotry, racism and Hitler, while so many Americans looked the other way and were silent as the Nazis slaughtered millions of Jewish men, women and children all over Europe.
No, Pete Seeger will not be a figure of history. His values, his integrity, his courage and his wonderful music - his precious songs - must live on, must be revived now - Folk Music for the Common Folks - that is - most of humanity, including me and you. Including the poor, people of different races and religions. In a world corrupted at all levels, serving the needs of the rich and crushing everyone else, we need Pete Seeger more than ever.
Pete Seeger will be the inspiration for new hope for oppressed and abused people all over the world - people who hear his story and will sing his songs.
Pete Seeger is not dead.
We, the people, will not let him die.
Sing a Seeger for justice. We Shall Overcome.