David Archuleta in Jakarta, Indonesia
“The shadow of his reputation precedes him.”
Sitting in Church a couple of months ago, these words were used in a talk and I wrote them down. I don’t remember the context in which they were used, I only know the phrase alone made a strong impression on my mind.
On July 2, 2011, David performed at the Stadium of Fire in Utah, an event which was broadcast live to over 1 million military personnel all over the world on the American Forces Network. He sang several patriotic songs as only he can, including this medley of “My Country Tis of Thee/ America the Beautiful.”
Video by 8thRowCenter
On July 16, 2011, David embarked on his Asian Tour. Coming on the heels of his SOF performance, it is likely that, once he had the US military’s attention, his subsequent activities might be watched with some interest. YouTube videos of him being mobbed in airports in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Viet Nam soon followed.
On July 29, 2011, it is announced that David is to perform at the Futenma Flight Fair in Okinawa on August 6th. This event was cancelled due to a typhoon but a new one was soon added. Today David is traveling at last to Okinawa to perform at another military installation, Camp Foster, for the Foster Festival this Saturday, October 15th.
Some would call all of this mere coincidence but I disagree. Given the strained relations that on several occasions have resulted in thousands of Japanese citizens protesting the presence of the US military in Okinawa, it seems almost inevitable. David’s reputation precedes him to Japan. A reputation of unparalleled emotional beauty in the performance of patriotic songs and who also, just happens to be very popular in Asia. The US military in Okinawa are good people doing a tough job and walking a razor’s edge to keep the peace in that part of the world, while also trying to foster peaceful relations with the Japanese. For the most part, they have succeeded but there is much more to be done.
It is not the Japanese tour I have longed for him, playing the huge bustling metropolises of Tokyo, population 8,164,000, or Yokohama, or Osaka. But it’s a start.
Back in April of 2010, a Japanese fansite posted the following photo of David in Japan. The story that accompanied the picture was that David Archuleta had finally come to Japan and was there to film a music video. Alas, it was April Fool’s Day and the picture was photo shopped. What is about to unfold this weekend is no joke. His reputation as an ambassador of goodwill, (why does the memory of Bob Hope suddenly come to mind?) precedes him, and by command performance and popular demand, the die is cast.
David will go to Japan.
Photoshop by Pop, All About Archuleta/Japan