"The famous “He ain’t heavy Father, he’s my brother” Boys Town motto and “Two Brothers” statue got its start in 1919 with nine-year-old Howard Loomis. Howard’s mother was unable to care for him and asked if he could live at the Home.
Father Flanagan said yes and asked Howard to follow him on a tour of his new home. When Howard stood up Father Flanagan realized for the first time the little boy had heavy braces on his legs the result of polio. The Home was not equipped to handle special needs children and he soon discovered no other children’s homes in Omaha wanted to take in this boy. Father Flanagan worked with the older boys in the Home to develop a system where Howard was able to move around the Home.
Each day an older boy would be assigned to help carry Howard on their backs up and down the stairs. When the boys went on picnics the older boys would carry Howard so he could also enjoy the festivities. On one of these picnics, the famous image of Rueben Granger carrying Howard Loomis was taken. As the story goes Father Flanagan asked one of the older boys if it was too much of a strain to carry Howard everywhere. The boy replied, “He ain’t heavy Father, he’s my brother.”
In 1941 Father Flanagan was reading a magazine and saw the image of the two brothers standing before a war-torn city with the caption “He ain’t heavy Mister, he’s my brother.” Father Flanagan’s thoughts went immediately to the 1920’s image and the memory of Howard Loomis. Father sought permission from the publisher of the magazine to use the image for his boy’s home. By 1946 the Two Brothers image was the official brand of the Home with the phrase “He ain’t heavy Father, he’s my brother.”
In 1947 Father Flanagan commissioned the artist Ira Corral to create a Two Brothers statue using Indiana limestone. The completed sculpture was based on the original painting of the Two Brothers by the artist Louis Bonhajo, which hangs today in the Hall of History
This song about brothers helping brothers, no matter the cost. The title phrase comes from a slogan for Boys Town, and the piano comes compliments of Elton John, who falls in with the tastefully saccharine strings to deliver an emotional knockout.
https://youtu.be/IuLmXp-dZus Top hit #7 Billboard 3/21/70
He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother https://youtu.be/FBybTW3KSps
The Hollies https://youtu.be/Jl5vi9ir49g
This is dedicated to "Mi Mama Margarita" Bonachea for her birthday, to my DaD Antonio J II, siblings AJ III and JA Soto, my children, God-children, and grandkids. Love always, ME