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Archive for the ‘Ceremonies & Celebrations’ Category

Milestone—My 200th Sounding of “Taps”—at Rotary Club, Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on June 17, 2019

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Glenn Ledbetter, VFW Post 1040 Bugler, sounds “Taps” for 200th time, 5-28-2019.

On Monday, 27 May, the nation observed Memorial Day, and I sounded “Taps” at Veterans Park in Lynnwood. The next day, I sounded it twice. In the morning, it was for a Hmong pilot who fought with America in the Vietnam War. The ceremony was held at the Hero’s Café in the Verdant Community Wellness Center in Lynnwood. In the afternoon, it was for those Americans who died while in military service, as remembered by members of the Rotary Club on Mercer Island. That ceremony was held at a luncheon in the Mercer Island Community Center, and it was the 200th time I’ve sounded “Taps” during the 9 years that I have been VFW Post 1040 Bugler. As usual, I used by lovely Getzen bugle at both ceremonies.

It’s a significant milestone for me, but buglers who live near a national or state veterans cemetery quickly and easily surpass my number. Some buglers have sounded “Taps” more than 5,000 times!

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Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos (L) and Glenn Ledbetter (R

Let’s see—the first of my 200 was on 16 July 2011. Let’s call it 9 years ago. That’s an average of about 22 per year. Q: At that rate, how many more years will it take me to reach 5,000 soundings? A: 218. Q: How old will I be then? A: Almost 300. Forget it…trying for some goals just isn’t worth it.

I lived on Mercer Island for 34 years and served on the City’s Planning Commission for 10. It was Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos, Chaplain at Covenant Shores Retirement Community, who invited me to sound “Taps” after his short speech at the end of the Rotary Club luncheon. Please see https://glennstrumpetnotes.com/2018/05/24/trumpet-show-at-covenant-shores-retirement-community-on-mercer-island/.

Photos are by Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos.

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Bugle Calls: “Assembly,” “Echo Taps” and “To the Color” on Memorial Day at Veterans Park, Lynnwood, 2019

Posted by glennled on June 16, 2019

 

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Honor Guard, VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood. Photo by Lynnwood Today.

This is the 8th straight year that I have sounded the bugle calls at the Memorial Day ceremonies held at Veterans Park in downtown Lynnwood, home of VFW Post 1040 (please see https://vfw1040.org/). For me, it’s the most important military ceremony because it honors those who died while in military service of the United States of America, “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.” This holiday traces its roots back to the Civil War.

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NW Jr. Pipe Band. Photo by Lynnwood Today.

On 27 May, in beautiful weather, about 250 people gathered remember and render their respect and honor. It appeared to be the largest crowd in my years with VFW Post 1040. On my superb Getzen bugle, I sounded “Echo Taps” with my former trumpet student, Zach Wilson, now a junior at North Creek High School in Bothell. In addition, I sounded the bugle calls “Assembly” (to start the program) and “To the Color” (at noon, after the ceremony, when the flag was raised to full staff).

Recently, I purchased the DVD,  “D-Day 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition” of Steven Spielberg’s 1998 movie, Saving Private Ryan. [It has now been 75 years since D-Day.] Please see https://www.amazon.com/Saving-Private-Ryan-Two-Disc-Special/dp/B0001NBLVI/ref=sr_1_2?crid=VJH9Z74BFRWH&keywords=saving+private+ryan+dvd&qid=1559912600&s=movies-tv&sprefix=saving%2Caps%2C203&sr=1-2

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Legion of Honor, Nile Shrine Center. Photo by Lynnwood Today.

When I’ve watched the film in the past in the theater and on TV, I’ve never been able to hear what Capt. John Miller whispered to Private Ryan just before Miller died. I bought the DVD for two reasons: to listen carefully to (a) Miller’s dying whispers and (b) what Ryan says to his wife years later when, as an old man, he and his family visit the American cemetery at Normandy.

Miller’s dying words are “James, earn this. Earn it.” Ryan says to his wife, “Tell me I’ve led a good life.” She responds, “What?” He says, “Tell me I’m a good man.” She replies, “You are.” My, oh, my, how much I admire my parents’ generation!—it was termed The Greatest Nation by Tom Brokaw.

Among other things, the film reminds me of the last stanza of the WWI poem, “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae:

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Photo by Lynnwood Today.

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Zach Wilson (L) and Glenn Ledbetter (R)

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In the film, both Miller and Ryan took up the torch—they lived and died carrying the torch for freedom. There is a saying today which I first heard from Raelynn Ricarte (please see my blog post of 20 July 2016). At a Memorial Day ceremony in 2016, she said, “Be an American worth dying for.”

Private Ryan tried to live up to the archetypal charge delivered to us all by McCrae, Miller, and Ricarte. Another Memorial Day—the bugle calls us to honor them and always remain grateful for their sacrifices and our heritage.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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“To the Color” and “Taps” at 5th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on June 10, 2019

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March to “Boots to Books” Monument. Photo by My Edmonds News.

 

The annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Edmonds Community College (ECC), held this year on 22 May at the Black Box Theatre, just keeps improving. This is the sixth such ceremony. The structure remains the same, and I think the execution is better. For one thing, Lt. Col. Jon Ramer, USAF (Ret.) was an excellent Master of Ceremonies. After his 25-year career, he is now the Veterans Event Coordinator for the City of Mill Creek. The excellent keynote speaker was Joe Wankelman, U.S. Army (Ret.).

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Myra Rintamaki, Gold Star Mother, escorted by Chris Szarek, Director, VRC. Photo by My Edmonds News.

There was a variety of music at various times in the program. Prior to the event, as the audience filed into their seats, the excellent five-member ECC Brass Ensemble played numerous pieces—two trumpets, French horn, trombone, and tuba, led by Stacey Eliason, ECC music faculty member. Peter Ali improvised on two of his flutes. Linda Kappus provided piano accompaniment as the audience sang the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.” Toby Beard played three songs on the bagpipes. And I sounded two bugle calls, “To the Color,” and “Taps.” I’ve been the bugler at all six of these ECC ceremonies. I use my beloved Getzen bugle.

For more information (including photos) about this annual ceremony and its sponsor, the ECC Veterans Resource Center (VRC), please see my blog posts of:

  • 31 May 2018
  • 28 June 2017
  • 20 July 2016
  • 18 August 2015
  • 17 June 2014

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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“Taps” and “The Navy Hymn” for Burials-at-Sea in Puget Sound Off the Ferry, Spokane

Posted by glennled on May 11, 2019

 

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“Let me go”—Joseph P. Doyon, 1922-2018

 

At about 9:50 a.m. on Saturday, 4 May, the Washington State Ferry, Spokane, enroute from Edmonds to Kingston, cut her engines and drifted for about five minutes in the ebb tide of Puget Sound while the ashes of Joseph P. Doyon and his oldest son, Paul, were committed to the sea. Joe died on 13 September 2018, age 95. His last home was in Tigard, Oregon, and his funeral service was held at Finley Sunset Hills Park and Mortuary in Portland on 7 October 2018. Paul died on 9 December 2017, age 62.

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Glenn Ledbetter plays “The Navy Hymn” aboard the ferry, Spokane

Joe was a World War II Navy veteran who participated in the D-Day landing at Normandy. I sounded “Taps” on my Getzen bugle, and the ferry captain gave three long blasts of the ship’s whistle in honor of him. As the ferry engines powered up and the ferry came up to speed, I closed the ceremony by playing “The Navy Hymn” on my Getzen trumpet. The family sang two verses:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
And those who on the ocean ply;
Be with our troops upon the land,
And all who for their country stand:
Be with these guardians day and night
And may their trust be in thy might.

Dale, Joe’s younger son, and his wife, Michelle, arranged this event. Michelle said that Joe loved to fish, golf and dance and was very sociable all his life. She called him a great man with many friends, a very hard worker, and a true gentleman. He spent many years writing the memoirs of his four years in the Navy and his WWII experiences. Dale intends to publish them soon. Michelle said that had Joe attended his own burial-at-sea ceremony, he would have said, “This is Marvelous!”

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Joe Doyon is standing (center) with pistol in hand during the Normandy invasion, 6 June 1944. The caption reads, “German prisoners were carried back to the west bank of the Rhine in landing boats. Prisoners on the boat fish some comrades out of the drink.”

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Joseph Paul Doyon, 1922-2018, U.S. Navy veteran, WWII

Fourteen family members attended; one daughter, JoAnn Watson, traveled from Arizona. Among others taking photos was a step-grandson, Matthew, an Eagle Scout and a trumpeter.

Joe was born in Augusta, Maine in 1922, and served in the Navy from 1943-1946. He became a Motor Machinist Mate Second Class. At age 21, he was aboard one of the first amphibious landing boats at Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Joe was awarded many medals (see photo). He was a member of the U.S. LST Association (see https://www.uslst.org/). He lived in Edmonds, Washington for about 45 years and had a 41-year career at University Swaging, shaping and joining metals for its clients. In 1987, he retired as Vice President and Manager of the Boat Division. He also lived for several years on a houseboat on Lake Union. Joe and Paul often fished in Appletree Cove and off Apple Cove Point near Kingston. It was Joe’s favorite spot. Paul’s death was devastating to his father. Joe had six children (two boys and four girls), four step-children, 12 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Burial-at-Sea Memorial Services

If approved by the Washington State Ferry Service, burial-at-sea memorial services are free but subject to the ferry captain’s final discretion due to weather or unforeseen operational issues. Cancelled services may be moved to another vessel or rescheduled. Advanced reservations are required, and memorials are permitted on six routes only: IMG_2884 (2)

  • Seattle/Bremerton
  • Seattle/Bainbridge
  • Edmonds/Kingston
  • Mukilteo/Clinton
  • Anacortes/Friday Harbor/Orcas
  • Port Townsend/Coupeville

Permissible times are during non-peak hours only:

  • Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday/Sunday, prior to 10 a.m.

Ashes must be contained in so-called “journey urns” which dissolve quickly after being dropped in the water.

Reflections

Memorial ceremonies call us, compel us, to reflect upon our own mortality. Each person who participated in or witnessed the Doyon burial-at-sea had his/her own memories and thoughts about the deceased father and son, life, and death. I did not know the Doyons, but here are my personal thoughts, brought up from the deep to the surface of me by this burial-at-sea.

First, Joe’s military service. I am immensely grateful to Joe and his generation. Without their values and fortitude, we Americas probably would now be speaking German or Japanese. Joe was a veteran who served with honor and survived D-Day. And as Jose N. Harris wrote, “A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life.” And as Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” And as Raelynn Ricarte of Hood River, Oregon, who lost her son, a Marine Corps Captain, says, “Be an American worth dying for.” The Doyon family lost such a man—Joe. I bugle for such men and women. IMG_4135

Second, Joe’s disappearance. Through cremation, the major parts of the bodies of Joe and Paul were combusted, vaporized, and oxidized. Their ashes (mostly pulverized bone fragments) have now been separated, mixed and scattered in 3-D salt water. Their particles may someday settle to the sea bottom, or circulate in the North Pacific gyre, or be taken up into the atmosphere and fall again in the rain on a distant continent or ocean, circulating here and there around the globe throughout the ages. At various times in various places, their particles probably will be chemically broken down into their inherent molecules and even reformed into other compounds. By choice, Joe’s and Paul’s bodies are no more, vanished without trace, except in memories and images. “Let me go” was Joe’s last message, expressed in the program at his funeral service in Portland last fall. Last Saturday, his and Paul’s ashes blended with nature.

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Dale and Michelle Doyon hold Dale’s father’s ashes in the biodegradable urn as the ferry, Spokane, approaches the Edmonds landing

Third, Joe’s life lessons for me—the afterlife. Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there” (Job 1:21). God said to Adam, “…for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen 3:19). But wait—the assemblages of organic matter that were identified as Joe and Paul are disintegrated, lost, gone. And my body, also, will be cremated. But wait again—Joe left his memoirs. Was he a believer? I don’t know. But it’s clear that Joe pondered such things in his heart. There is a saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” In other words (according to the saying), when under extreme stress, all people believe in, hope for, even call upon and appeal to a higher power. Joe certainly had been in the line of fire. How did it form him or change him, spiritually? Perhaps his memoirs will tell us.

But wait yet again—Joe is gone. I will follow, but for now, I’m still here, still vertical, still thinking, feeling, and kicking, “Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive,” as the Bee Gees sing. Is death the end of me? C.S. Lewis said, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” Ah! Despite cremation and even burial-at-sea, our distinct, individual identities, our being, are preserved.

Change is the only constant in life, said Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher. “To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). And Lord Alfred Tennyson writes in his poem, The Brook, about how the water keeps on flowing after we are gone. The brook is the narrator:

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

“Change…a season…a time…heaven…forever…” The tide comes in and goes out. Day changes to night, and winter passes into spring. Years turn into eons. Millions multiply into billions, and so on. We die, and life goes on without us. But no, ultimately, the brook also will not survive. Scientists say that Earth itself will be consumed by the expanding Sun. The Sun, too, will die. The whole Milky Way Galaxy will be swallowed by a Black Hole. Everything—an atom, a toothpick, an aircraft carrier, a solar system, a galaxy—has a life cycle. Perhaps even a Black Hole. Perhaps even our entire universe. But, by definition, not Heaven. There dwells the Absolute, the Infinite, the great I AM, in Eternity. Endless time. No more cycles. Everlasting life in love, peace and joy. Justice—the triumph of Good. The promised ideal, made possible only by Grace.

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis said, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

In his song, “Gotta Serve Somebody,” Bob Dylan sings:

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“Laughing Jesus” by Segura

“You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls…

“You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything but no matter what you say

“You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
Indeed you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody”

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalms 53:1). Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:44). In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:2-3). Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). Then he [one of the two criminals who were crucified with Jesus] said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:42-43). In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed…O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (I Corinthians 15:52,55).

Photos are courtesy of the Doyon family. Please click on any photo below to enlarge it.

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“Taps” for Laurence Joseph Mensing (70), Career Army Specialist

Posted by glennled on February 22, 2019

 

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Once in awhile, a memorial service stands out as special among the many others at which I have sounded “Taps” during the past 10 years for a deceased veteran and his family and friends. Such was the case on Sunday, 10 February at Purdy & Walters Funeral Home at Floral Hills in Lynnwood.

It was between snowstorms that we gathered in the chapel at 1 p.m. to remember and honor Laurence Joseph (“Larry Joe”) Mensing, who passed away in Mountlake Terrace on 21 January 2019. His son, Joe, had contacted me through Bugle Across America (BAA) for “Taps.” The officant was Anne Jenny, herself a veteran. Two of Larry Joe’s younger brothers and a niece spoke about his important impacts upon their lives. Their IMG_2701testimonies were emotional, even tearful. He was clearly adored and honored by his family and friends. One brother, with choked, cracking voice, said Larry Joe was his best friend and talked about how the Army had changed his older brother into a dignified gentleman. Another brother, pounding the podium and mourning the loss, said that all his life, he wanted to be just like Larry Joe. The niece said Larry Joe was known for pranks and teasing, and from a young age, she was always certain that he loved her.

Born and raised in Montana, Specialist (SPC) Mensing had joined the Army in 1968 and served almost 24 years. Afterwards, he was an active member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He met his wife, Yoko Makishi, while stationed at Fort Buckner, Okinawa. They were married 45 years and had four children and six grandchildren. She preceded him in death. “After retiring,” reads the program, “more than anything ‘G-PA’ ala ‘Pa Pa’ loved spending time with family and friends.” He was the family leader. IMG_2720

The Army Honor Guard consisted of 9 soldiers; I had never seen so many at such a ceremony. They fired the three-volley rifle salute, and as six of them held the flag level above the casket, I sounded “Taps” on my beautiful Getzen bugle with the BAA engraving on the bell (see my blog post of 4 May 2015).

Later, as I watched the audience file out of the chapel, there were lots of red eyes and wet cheeks. They could not hold back. He was that beloved. On leaving, I went up to Joe, who held the flag in his arms. We shook hands, and I thanked him for the honor and privilege of sounding “Taps.” Like the others, his eyes were wet and red. RIP, Larry Joe. You were Special.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Who Was Arthur F. Church?

Posted by glennled on February 5, 2019

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A bugler’s headstone among the 5,000 graves in Evergreen-Washelli’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Seattle, including seven Medal of Honor recipients

 

For seven years (2011-17), I always stood in one spot to sound “Taps” at the annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony, held each December at Evergreen-Washelli’s Veterans Cemetery in north Seattle. That one spot is among about 5,000 veterans’ graves. It’s right next to one gravestone that had become quite special to me. I had developed a fond image of the man buried there. But this year, the ceremony was moved farther west within the cemetery (please see my blog post of 15 January 2019). I missed my old spot near my departed comrade from “Auld Lang Syne” (old times gone by). I knew his name but not his story.

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WWI U.S. Army recruitment poster for the horse cavalry

I first sounded “Taps” at the WAA ceremony on 10 December 2011. Prior to the ceremony, as the Honor Guard (rifle team) of VFW Post 1040 lined up along the sidewalk leading uphill to the Chimes Tower, I searched nearby among the hundreds of gravestones for a spot to stand. It’s important to be close to them but not so close that the ejected shell casings might hit you. Also, you want to be visible by the ceremony’s participants and audience.

I made my choice, positioned myself there, and waited for my cue. During the ceremony, I started to read the round-top gravestones nearby. To my left, I saw this inscription: “Arthur F. Church, Idaho, Bugler…”

Imagine that—how rare, how unusual! In my life, I’ve learned to pay close attention to such coincidences. Immediately, I was curious. Churchwas he a Christian believer? Idahosince 1851, when the first settlers built cabins on Alki Point, hundreds of thousands of people, including me, have moved to Seattle from everywhere. Born 28 October 1889America entered WWI in April 1917, when he was 27. Died 10 January 1945only four months afterwards came WWII’s Victory-in-Europe (V-E) Day. He was only 55 when he died. Had he been wounded in the war? Buglers were special targets; kill a bugler, and you disrupt your enemy’s communications. And there I was, 66 years later at age 71, standing near his marker, near his grave, near his remains, waiting to sound “Taps” at a ceremony meant to honor all those like him, who served.

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Glenn Ledbetter sounds “Taps” near headstone of Arthur F. Church, Bugler, in Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Evergreen Washelli, 2012

So, every time I’ve played “Taps” at any subsequent military ceremony near the Chimes Tower, that’s where I’ve always stood—next to Arthur. And lately, I’ve begun to ponder—Who was Arthur F. Church, Idaho, Bugler, 109th Infantry, 28th Division?

After much searching on the internet, I learned a lot about him. I read about the regiment and the division, his active duty in the military, his family including two brothers, one sister, and six half-siblings, his two wives but no children, his work, his troubles with narcotics and the law, his early death, and more. Let me focus on bugling because that’s what we have in common.

I had imagined that he might have been a career musician, perhaps even playing cornet in a military band. But it appears that Arthur was drafted into the Army toward the end of WWI and served only one year. He enlisted on 24 May 1918, and was discharged on 20 May 1919. The Armistice (cease fire agreement) that ended WWI was signed on 11 November 1918. He already was a married man. He had married Florence Strike in Wallace, Idaho on 2 April 1917. Did he play a brass instrument before entering the service? I don’t know. In any case, the Army made him a bugler, and apparently, that’s all the bugling he ever did.

Census records in 1920 and 1930 indicate that after the war, he lived as a lodger in Seattle and worked as a miner and a hook tender in the regrading industry. Other public records describe him thus at age 34: height 5’6″, weight 144 lbs, dark brown hair, brown eyes, medium build, ruddy complexion, with gold-crowned, upper left molar teeth and scars on the back of his head, right hand, and right thigh. Arthur seems to have had a “hard-knock life,” as the song goes in the musical, Annie.

Did he serve in Europe? Was he ever in combat? Did he ever sound bugle calls in battle—“To Arms, Charge, Retreat, Commence Firing, Cease Firing,” and more?  Or did he, like me, sound only those used in the daily routine and at ceremonies—“Reveille, Mess, Sick, School, Church, Assembly, Drill, Dress Parade, To the Color, Officers’ Call, Adjutants’ Call, Tattoo, Taps, Funeral March,” and more? Either way, it was important. As the soldiers said, “How else would we all know when to wake up and go to chow?”

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Bugle that sounded end of WWI, courtesy of National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.

There is a book that covers all the calls that every 1918 U.S. military bugler had to know. It’s by V.F. Safranek and was published in 1918 in New York by Carl Fischer, 158 pages. It’s entitled, Complete Instructive Manual for Bugle, Trumpet and Drum. Now we know what Arthur F. Church, Bugler, knew.

In addition, I own two other excellent bugle call books:

  • 67 Bugle Calls As Practiced in the Army and Navy of the United States, New Edition published by Carl Fischer in 1998. It is based upon John Philip Sousa’s A Book of Instruction for the Field Trumpet [Bugle] and Drum, also published by Carl Fischer in 1886.
  • Infantry Bugle Calls of the American Civil War, authored by George Rabbai and published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc. in 1998. Forty-nine bugle calls are included, as well as narration, spoken commands, and anecdotes and stories from the accounts of infantry soldiers.
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American WWI buglers, including Leo Foster (right)

Arthur’s father is buried in Port Townsend, WA. His mother, older brother, and at least three of his half-siblings are buried at Evergreen-Washelli.

On 4 September 1945, Evergreen-Washelli applied for a military, upright marble headstone for Arthur. It was approved, shipped, and installed amongst his fellow veterans, as shown in the accompanying photos. Why does the inscription reference the state of Idaho? It might just be a clerical error because his Company D, 109th Regiment, 28th Division was neither created nor stationed in Idaho. They’re out of Pennsylvania. Neither was Arthur born in Idaho; he was born in South Dakota. But perhaps it was simply because Arthur probably was living with his bride in Idaho when he was drafted.

The next time I sound “Taps” near the Chimes Tower in Veterans Memorial Cemetery, I’ll again stand next to Arthur F. Church, whose gravestone bears the cross above his name.

Let me express my gratitude to Mary Ann Fuller, my primary information source, and to Karen Sipe for additional information presented in this article. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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“Taps” at 9th Annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery in Seattle

Posted by glennled on January 15, 2019

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ET1 Kyle Rushing (saluting) dedicates the Navy’s ceremonial wreath at Evergreen-Washelli’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Seattle

 

About 200 people gathered on 15 December 2018, at Veterans Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, in north Seattle at the 9th local Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony to remember our fallen military personnel who are buried there. The annual, half-hour img_2457event was emceed by Lorraine Zimmermann of the Veterans Memorial Wreath Foundation (VMWF). The guest speaker was Doyle Burke, retired Washington State Guard Command Sergeant. Then 7 wreaths were dedicated by representatives of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and POW/MIA.

Using my favorite Getzen bugle, I sounded “Taps” immediately after the Honor Guard of VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood fired the rifle salute. It was my seventh such performance. The ceremony concluded with the Parade of Wreaths. Finally, those in attendance placed wreaths on many of the gravestones of those servicemen and women who are buried there. The event’s message was “We collectively thank our military and their families for our freedom!”

For more detailed information on WAA, please use the Archives (see left column) to find my posts about previous local WAA ceremonies:

  • 9 January 2013
  • 16 December 2013
  • 28 April 2015
  • 5 February 2016
  • 30 December 2016
  • 29 December 2017

Mark your calendars for plans to attend the 10th annual ceremony on 14 December 2019. Volunteers and donors may contact Lorraine Zimmermann at https://www.facebook.com/Veterans-Memorial-Wreath-Foundation-362631617642740/.  Following is a photo gallery of scenes at this year’s ceremony. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

By Gayle Caya, Courtesy of VMWF

 

By Tonya Christoffersen, Courtesy of VMWF

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“Taps” Concludes Veterans Day Ceremonies at St. Matthew Catholic School in Seattle and Cottage Lake Elementary School in Woodinville

Posted by glennled on December 18, 2018

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Veterans Day ceremony, Cottage Lake Elementary School, Woodinville, with Kelsey Brady on piano, 11-09-2018

 

Some schools take Veterans Day very seriously and conduct superb ceremonies for the students and their guests. On 9 November, I sounded “Taps” at two such schools—St. Matthew Catholic School in Seattle in the morning and Cottage Lake Elementary School in the afternoon. Each ceremony was different, and both were outstanding. The chief organizer at St. Matthew was Kara Herber, 4th grade teacher, and at Cottage Lake, Kelsey Brady, music teacher. Ms. Herber found me through Bugles Across America (please see http://www.buglesacrossamerica.org/). Brig. Gen. Raymond W. Coffey, USAVR, referred Ms. Brady to me.

Ensign Shirkydra Roberts, U.S. Navy, was the principal speaker at St. Matthew. Please see her IAME website, https://impactaspiremotivate.com/. IAME stands for “Impact, Aspire, Motivate Enterprises.” General Coffey commands the 10th Region of the U.S. Volunteer-Joint Services Command, a ceremonial unit that conducts military honors at various events in the region. Please see my blog posts of 11 July and 17 December 2018, and 19 June 2014.

I closed each ceremony with the sounding of “Taps” on my wonderful Getzen bugle (see my blog post of 4 May 2015 ). Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

St. Matthew Catholic School

Cottage Lake Elementary School

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Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of WWI Armistice at Veterans Day Ceremony in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 17, 2018

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Most Veterans Day ceremonies in the USA were held this year on the observed holiday, Monday, 12 November, but VFW Post 1040 elected to conduct theirs on the real date, Sunday, 11 November—celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the World War I armistice at 11 a.m. on 11/11/1911.

Using my beautiful Getzen bugle, I sounded “Assembly” to call the ceremony to order, followed by the entrance procession, led by the Northwest Junior Pipe Band playing “The Marine Corps Hymn” honoring the 243rd birthday of the Corps. NWJPB was followed by the Legion of Honor of the Nile Shrine Center and the Honor Guard of VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood. As the ceremony closed, I was honored to sound “Echo Taps” with my trumpet student, Aidan Grambihler, trumpeter in Garfield High School’s Concert Orchestra in Seattle. Bryan Kolk is conductor of GHS’s three orchestras.

Aidan started lessons with me almost three years ago (please see my blog post of 13 April 2016). As Aidan has learned, playing bugle calls helps a trumpeter keep sharp articulation and slotting.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Courtesy of Lynnwood Today

 

By Myra Rintamaki

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Boy Scouts of America, Lynnwood Troop 49 and Cub Scout Pack 331

 

By Holly Grambihler

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“Taps” at 4th Annual Skyline Memorial Walk in Seattle

Posted by glennled on November 7, 2018

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Window cleaners on the job, north tower of Skyline Towers of First Hill, a Presbyterian retirement community

 

Today, at the fourth annual Skyline Memorial Walk, some 225 names of deceased family members and friends were read aloud as the bell was tolled. Then “We Remember Them” by Sylvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Riemer was also read aloud. And finally, I sounded “Taps” on my Getzen bugle, here for the third straight year (see my posts of 10 Nov 2016 and 19 Nov 2017). Rev. Elizabeth Graham, Chaplain at Skyline Towers Retirement Community in downtown Seattle, presided over the ceremony which attracted about 20 residents, mostly women. The group then took the Memorial Walk in the courtyard outside the meeting room where they found, among the lovely plants, individual signs bearing the names of the departed.

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On the job at Skyline Towers Retirement Community in downtown Seattle

Rev. Graham said that about two weeks ago, a notice was sent to all the residents and staff, inviting them to identify loved ones whom they would want to be remembered at this ceremony. Here is an excerpt from “We Remember Them,” honoring and paying tribute to those who have passed:

“At the rising sun and at its going down; We remember them…At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn; We remember them…When we are weary and in need of strength; We remember them…When we have joy we crave to share; We remember them…For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now part of us as, We remember them.”

Afterwards, looking up, I saw two courageous men high up the side of the building, dangling off thin lines, working, defying gravity, cheating death, earning a living, serving others, producing something of value—clean windows. We will remember them, too. For as John Donne wrote in 1624,

Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

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