LUDWIG Van Beethoven (1770-1827), the German composer was one of the greatest composers of the world. His works immortalized classical European music. At the age of 20, he began to lose his hearing and became totally deaf. His deafness could not deter from composing immortal pieces of music and in fact he composed many of his finest pieces of music after becoming totally deaf.
In 1823, the European anthem came from the Ninth Symphony composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven, when he set the music from the poem, Ode to Joy. The poem was written by Friedrich Von Schiller (1759-1805), the German poet in 1785 as a "celebration of the brotherhood of man." In this universal language of music, it expressed the message of freedom, peace and solidarity of a United Europe. Sir Winston Churchill, a former army officer, war reporter and British Prime Minister (1940-45 and 1951-55) was emotional about the music and was one of the first to call for the creation of a United Europe. Even the European Union (EU) had a long term political dream to create a United States of Europe like the United States of America. The dream did not come true perhaps due to the spate of nationalism in Europe, for instance, the Brexit.
However, in 1972, the anthem was adopted by the Council of Europe and it was adopted by EU leaders in 1985 as the official anthem of EU. As a deaf individual myself, I feel proud of Beethoven, a deaf man!
Aurora, IL, USA