You’ll Always Be My Hero – Story Behind the Song

In 2016 I found myself standing on a stage at the base of the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington D.C.. I was looking out at a large group of people who had come together to raise awareness about the opioid crisis. I’d been asked to come there to sing a song I’d written and recorded titled “Where Did Beautiful Go”. I too had been affected by the opioid epidemic, but nothing had prepared me for what came next.

As I looked out at the crowd, many were wearing photos of their lost loved ones taped across their chests. The birth and death dates were written in bold letters underneath the images of these cherished loved ones who had lost their lives to opioid overdose. The dates represented young people and short lives, thousands of them. It was shocking.

There were speeches from dignitaries, experts, and advocate. There were parents, spouses and family members and people who had miraculously recovered. My heart hurt as I listened, the grief and anger palpable. Not only had this audience suffered the loss of their nearest and dearest, often their children, they had also been stigmatized for the way their loved one had died.

As I took my place on the stage, I saw a large banner with hundreds if not thousands of names under a header that read “Lost But Not Forgotten”. I started to sing my song and that is when I realized something else. In the face of all that these beautiful people had endured, they were there, to fight back and get the powers that be to recognize that this crisis was responsible for a massive and tragic loss of life. That the threat was getting worse, not better. These were the people who were sounding the alarm about the opioid crisis, they had lost their loved ones, and now they were trying to save others from the same fate.

The crowd had their signs for the protest march in hand and were ready to go make some noise. I would join them. They were in our Nation’s Capitol to speak truth to power and demand change. I knew then and there that I had to do more.

When I came home, I met with my producer and co-writer Rick Barretta. I shared my experience with him. What became important to us in creating this song was to remember those that had been lost with dignity and to respect and honor these strong advocates who had transformed their pain into purpose.

This is that song.

Click Here to Listen to Song without story


A special thank you to my producer and co-writer Rick Barretta for his contributions to this song and for capturing the essence of this song in this recording. A special thank you to Carl Wheeler and Julie Besancon for their amazing contributions to this song and for sharing their amazing talents! And a special thanks to Chris Vigil for the wonderful photos and images. For more about my music and my work Click Here.

About the author, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Edwards is a singer songwriter, recording artist and a person in long-term recovery from addiction.
She is a speaker and advocate for recovery causes and currently serves on the National Advisory Council for Faces & Voices of Recovery.

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