Tuesday, August 09, 2005

My father did something nice...

...and my picture got in the paper.

On Sunday, my father blew taps in Lowell as part of the first "Bugles Across America" ceremony. Since I was up this weekend for the Army, Geordarna and I took part as well, before heading back to NYC.

Surrounded by veterans from WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam, my father and I represented the latest additions from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Quite an honor, actually, to so visibly see the link from the present to the past and to take part in even a small ceremony that recognizes the cost of freedom and the price of war.

Nice little write-up in the Lowell Sun, as well.

Raising awareness, note by note

Lowell Sun

LOWELL -- Three buglers slowly played Taps last night as the VFW Walker Rogers Post 662 took part for the first time in Bugles Across America -- a movement in which buglers across the nation simultaneously play the song to honor soldiers and draw attention to their dwindling numbers.

Post 662 Commander Vincent Freeman said the post will take part in the event from now on during the first Sunday of every month, as buglers across the country raise their horns to play the solemn military song at 7:15 p.m.

Freeman kicked off a ceremony that started about 7 p.m., and as 7:15 drew near 97-year-old Handel Matley was the first to play, sounding the 24 notes of the song as the noise of cars and daily life echoed through silence of those of the VFW hall's parking lot.

As soon as Matley sounded the last note, Post 662's bugler, Bob Camble, began his version.

After Camble, 72, who is a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, went Sam Poulten, of Chelmsford, an Army major [Ed. Note: he's actually a Lt. Colonel] who played Taps in Iraq as the caskets of American soldiers were loaded onto planes bound for home.

Freeman said participation in Bugles Across America is meant to honor fallen soldiers, as well as to draw attention to the dwindling numbers of buglers across the nation.

Poulten said lack of wars in past decades made buglers who can play taps less needed for a while, and that a lot of people also think it's harder than it actually is, especially in a situation where a mistake would be so regrettable.

“It can be taught, and we're willing to teach young buglers,” Poulten said.

“If you can learn to play it, it's an awesome feeling for the player, as well as those listening.”

Freeman said Bugles Across America got started in 2000 in the Midwest, and that he hopes to see the turnout at the monthly event in Lowell grow, as well as to see the event take hold in other communities.