Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘Fallen Heroes Project’

“Echo Taps” and “Assembly” Bugle Calls at 10th Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Veterans Cemetery in North Seattle

Posted by glennled on January 12, 2020

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VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard at “Present Arms” position as “Echo Taps” is sounded

 

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Michael Reagan, Fallen Heroes Project

The Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony in Seattle keeps improving, and as it does so, the audience size keeps growing. About 300 people attended the event on 14 December 2019 at Veterans Cemetery at Evergreen-Washelli, where there are 5,000 graves of service men and women, including 7 Medal of Honor recipients. This was the 10th annual ceremony wreath laying ceremony here. It’s a tribute to those buried here and elsewhere around the world. IMG_1848

Afterwards, audience members placed wreaths upon as many gravestones as there were wreaths. This year, “with the help of a new nonprofit foundation (Veterans Memorial Wreath Foundation), growing community awareness, and the generous support of our sponsors,” said Lorraine Zimmerman, president of VMWF, “we were able to place a record number of wreaths—over 1300! If anybody is interested in becoming involved and/or learning more about our foundation, just contact me or visit http://www.vmwf.org. Save the date for next year’s ceremony: Saturday, 19 December at 9 a.m.”

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William (Bill) W. Wilson, former POW, Vietnam War, 1972-73

The VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard was honored once more to fire the rifle salute and sound the bugle calls during the ceremony. To open the event, I sounded the bugle call, “Assembly.” At the close, Lukas Breen of the U.S.Coast Guard and Bugles Across America joined me in sounding “Echo Taps.” We both used Getzen Field Trumpets (bugles).

Please use the Archives column (left) to read my articles about previous WAA ceremonies:

  • 15 Jan 2019
  • 29 Dec 2017
  • 30 Dec 2016
  • 5 Feb 2016
  • 28 Apr 2015
  • 9 Jan 2013
  • 16 Dec 2011

All photos are courtesy of Tonya Christoffersen except one by Lila O’Leary (as captioned). Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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2015 Wreaths Across America–“Never Forget”

Posted by glennled on February 5, 2016

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“Never Forget”

On this same day at this same hour of every year, the same ceremony is conducted in more than 900 locations across America and around the world—wreaths are placed on graves in military cemeteries on the second Saturday of December. It is called Wreaths Across America (WAA) and is an outgrowth of the Arlington Wreath Project, started in 1992. As the popular ceremony spread across the country, WAA was formed in 2007.

Here in Seattle, the theme of the 6th annual ceremony was “Never Forget.” Michael G. Reagan, famed artist of the “Fallen Heroes Project,” was the Keynote Speaker. Reagan was awarded the Citizen Service Before Self Honor (known to some as The Civilian Medal of Honor) on 25 March 2015 by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation in Arlington, VA.

The local ceremony was held at Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, on 12 December. Six military Medal of Honor recipients are buried there. The Navy Wives Club of America (NWCA), Totem 277, led by Donna Turner and Crystal Wilkerson, started hosting this event in 2010. Lorraine Zimmerman is the club’s WAA project leader and site coordinator for Everygreen-Washelli. Totem 277’s territory is from Seattle to Burlington.The primary element of the annual ceremony is the ceremonial wreath dedication by representatives of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and POW/MIAs.

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“Never Forget”–William W. Wilson, former POW, places flag on wreath, followed by hand salute. Photo by Jacque Hodgen.

Zimmerman introduced the POW/MIA representative with these moving words: “William (Bill) W. Wilson, former Prisoner of the Vietnam War, made 33 missions over NVN and Laos, flying an F-111 before being shot down while bombing the Red River docks in downtown Hanoi on 22 December 1972. He evaded capture for a week, was nearly rescued by a Super Jolly Green helicopter, and then was captured by the North Vietnamese on 29 December. He spent a month in the ‘Heartbreak” section of the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ before being moved to the ‘Zoo.’ He returned to U.S. control on the last C-141A out of Hanoi on 29 March 1973 during Operation Homecoming. Bill will now place a flag [on the POW/MIA wreath] in honor of the more than 83,000 United States Servicemen from all branches of the service whose last known status was either Prisoner of War or Missing in Action. These individuals have never returned to their families and homes. We will not forget you.”

Among the many voluntary participants was the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard. As Post Bugler,  I played “Assembly” on my Super Olds cornet at 9 a.m. as Zimmerman issued the Call to Order and the 62nd Airlift Wing Air Force Honor Guard presented the colors. To close the ceremony, the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard fired a perfect rifle salute, and I sounded “Taps.” Afterwards, participants and audience members placed wreaths on numerous tombstones in the cemetery.

For more information, please see:

One photo below is by Geoffrey T. Lewis. All others are by Jacque Hodgen. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Bugle Calls at Memorial Day Ceremony, Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on June 17, 2014

Veterans Monument, Edmonds Community College

“From Boots to Books,” Veterans Monument, Edmonds Community College

On 21 May, Edmonds Community College (ECC) held a ceremony to honor those who died during military service–that’s what Memorial Day is all about. As an Honor Guard member of VFW Post 1040, I was fortunate to be a participant. I’m the post bugler, and I got to sound three bugle calls: “Assembly,” “To the Color,” and “Taps.”

Chris Szarek arranged the impressive, dignified program. Chris is the first director of the X-DSC_0196 (2) Veterans Resource Center at ECC, which was established in 2012, to “assist veterans in navigating enrollment, help them access educational and financial benefits, and offer other resources while veterans attend college.” The program started in the Black Box Theatre in Mukilteo Hall, shifted outdoors to the bronze monument entitled “From Boots to Books,” and concluded with a flag-lowering ceremony at the flag plaza. Incidentally, the monument was unveiled in June, 2010.

The guest speaker was Michael G. Reagan, a Vietnam veteran and local artist who has drawn portraits of ~3800 fallen military men and women as part of his Fallen Heroes Project. Please see my post of 19 November 2011 (find it in the Archives in the left-hand column) and his website, http://www.fallenheroesproject.org. Reagan has helped raise more than $10 million for a long list of charities.

Leonard Martin, Guest of Honor, U.S. Army veteran of WW II

Leonard Martin, Guest of Honor, U.S. Army veteran of WW II

 

The Guest of Honor at the ceremony was Leonard Martin (89) of Snohomish, WA. As a corporal in the 104th Infantry Division, “The Timberwolves,” U.S. Army, he landed at Utah Beach in Normandy, in September, 1944. They fought their way up to Holland, and he was captured on 31 October 1944. He spent the next six months as a POW in a German camp. He was liberated on 13 April, and V-E Day came on 8 May 1945.

Dr. Jean Hernandez, President, Edmonds Community College

Dr. Jean Hernandez, President, Edmonds Community College

Another featured speaker was Dr. Jean Hernandez, president of ECC since January, 2011. How different is that from 1967-69! That’s when, as a Vietnam veteran, I was an Assistant Professor of Naval Science at the University of Washington, teaching NROTC on campus. The UW president would never have spoken at one of our memorial ceremonies. This was the time of violent campus protests about the Vietnam War. In fact, on 18 September 1968, I came to work and found that Clark Hall had been the target of an arson fire–someone had attempted to burn down the NROTC building! The fire did about $100,000 in damage.

So, thanks to Dr. Hernandez and others, there is a Veterans Resource Center and a veterans monument at ECC, and on this 21 May, she spoke eloquently about Memorial Day. I hope this ceremony is an annual event.

Photos are courtesy of the Veterans Resource Center at ECC. Some were taken by Todd Clayton and others by Susie Beresford. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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“Echo Taps” on Veterans Day 2012—the 150th Anniversary Year of its Composition

Posted by glennled on November 19, 2012

Taps, original painting by Sidney E. King on display at Berkeley Plantation

In 1862, when Daniel Adams Butterfield composed “Taps” during the Civil War, there was no Veterans Day. A New Yorker, he was then a Brigadier General and later a Major General in the Union Army. Fifty-six years later in 1918, this national holiday was established (first as Armistice Day) after the end of World War I. Its name was changed to Veterans Day after World War II and is now celebrated annually on 11 November in honor of all American veterans. This year is the 150th anniversary year of “Taps,” the most famous of all American bugle calls. Thus, it came to pass that Richard Haydis and I sounded “Echo Taps” to close the memorial ceremony at Veterans Park in Lynnwood on a rainy Sunday, 11 November 2012.

Haydis is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, and I am a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam era. VFW Post 1040 (see http://vfw1040.org/) hosted the ceremony, where the featured speaker was Michael G. Reagan, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, internationally renown artist and leader of the Fallen Heroes Project (see my post of 19 November 2011, and www.fallenheroesproject.org). The ceremony featured the NW Junior Pipe Band (see www.mwjbp.org) and

Michael G. Reagan, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Fallen Heroes Project

Ray Colby, VFW Post 1040 Piper and a U.S. Navy veteran. Cub Scout Pack 331 placed flags in the park and distributed the ceremony programs.During 2012, buglers throughout the nation participated in numerous ceremonies to commemorate the 150th anniversary of “Taps.” The prime event occurred on 22-24 June at Harrison Landing on the grounds of Berkeley Plantation along the James River, southeast of Richmond, Virginia (see www.taps150.org). This was the birthplace of America’s Song of Remembrance.

In late June, 1862, after the Seven Days Battles, the Army of the Potomac recuperated at Harrison Landing. Butterfield himself had been wounded.  It is said of Oliver Willcox Norton, bugler of Butterfield’s Brigade, that Butterfield called him to his tent to work on a new bugle call until, as Butterfield put it, he got it smooth, melodious, and musical, suited his ear and taste. Norton was the first to sound “Taps” as we now know it in early July.  Later, in 1898, Norton wrote a letter recalling the incident:

Taps, Butterfield and Norton

“…One day, soon after the seven days battles on the Peninsular, when the Army of the Potomac was lying in camp at Harrison’s Landing, General Daniel Butterfield, then commanding our Brigade, sent for me, and showing me some notes on a staff written in pencil on the back of an envelope, asked me to sound them on my bugle. I did this several times, playing the music as written. He changed it somewhat, lengthening some notes and shortening others, but retaining the melody as he first gave it to me. After getting it to his satisfaction, he directed me to sound that call for Taps thereafter in place of the regulation call. The music was beautiful on that still summer night, and was heard far beyond the limits of our Brigade. The next day I was visited by several buglers from neighboring Brigades, asking for copies of the music which I gladly furnished. I think no general order was issued from army headquarters authorizing the substitution of this for the regulation call, but as each brigade commander exercised his own discretion in such minor matters, the call was gradually taken up through the Army of the Potomac. I have been told that it was carried to the Western Armies by the 11th and 12th Corps, when they went to Chattanooga in the fall of 1863, and rapidly made its way through those armies. I did not presume to question General Butterfield at the time, but from the manner in which the call was given to me, I have no doubt he composed it in his tent at Harrison s Landing…

For a detailed account of the composition of “Taps”, please see “24 Notes That Tap Deep Emotions,” by Jari A. Villanueva, at www.west-point.org/taps/Taps.html.

Taps Monument prior to 2012 renovation, Berkeley Plantation

The Virginia Department of the American Legion erected a monument dedicated to “Taps” on a knoll where General Butterfield’s tent stood in July 1862. This is the only such monument in the country. There is a bronze statue of Butterfield in Sakura Park on Claremont Avenue in Manhattan, not far from Grant’s Tomb. And Butterfield is buried at West Point, although he attended Union College (Class of 1849) in Schenectady, not the U.S. Military Academy (see www.union.edu/news/stories/2012/05/sounding-a-solemn-note-taps-turns-150.php).

Incidentally, the call is named “Taps” because at the end of the call, a drummer would play three distinct drum taps at four-count intervals. And as popular and beautiful as it is, “Echo Taps” is not an official bugle call of the U.S. military. Officially, “Taps” is to be sounded by a single bugle.

Photos of the 2012 Lynnwood ceremony are by Andy Dingman. Please click on any image to enlarge it.

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“Taps” at Rainy Veterans Day Ceremony at Lynnwood Veterans Park

Posted by glennled on November 19, 2011

NW Junior Pipe Band (center) plays as firing squad awaits (right)

For one second on this special Veterans Day, the time was exactly 11:11:11 on 11-11-’11. A few minutes later, I sounded “Taps” for all our veterans, including me (Navy, Vietnam). Prior to the ceremony, Martin Spani, Commander of VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood, had stationed me where the silver sculpture stands on a knoll in the Veterans Park in downtown, just south of the library. “After the NW Junior Pipe Band plays ‘Amazing Grace,'” he said, “the firing squad will fire three volleys. When they come to Present Arms, you play ‘Taps.'” And that’s just how it happened, probably very similar to many thousand other ceremonies this day across America, except for our pouring-down rain.

Out of curiosity, I looked for the plaque that would tell me about the stainless steel sculpture where I stood to sound “Taps”—it’s untitled (1979) by Bruce West.

Steven A. Rintanaki, Cpl, USMC, of Lynnwood, died Al Anbar Province, Iraq, 9/16/2004 - Portrait by Michael G. Reagan

The guest speaker was Michael G. Reagan, Edmonds artist, who spoke about his foundation’s Fallen Heroes Project. “Our mission,” he says, “is to honor the American Fallen Heroes for their ultimate sacrifice during the war against terrorism. The foundation will provide the resources to produce and distribute to each family a hand-drawn portrait of their Fallen Hero, created by artist Michael G. Reagan, free of charge. Each portrait is intended to show our Love and Respect for these Heroes and their families.” See http://www.fallenheroesproject.org/.

Commander, VFW Post 1040

If you donate $30 to VFW Post 1040, you can have a 7″ x 9″ inscribed memorial brick installed in Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Lynnwood in honor of a veteran, living or deceased. Currently, 805 such bricks line the pathways and plantings in the park. See http://www.vfwpost1040.org/index.php.

Click on any image to enlarge it.

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