Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘Taps’

“Taps” for Veterans Day Ceremony at Cottage Lake Elementary School in Woodinville

Posted by glennled on December 11, 2019

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Annually, Cottage Lake Elementary School (CLES) in Woodinville presents an exceptional Veterans Day Ceremony, and for the second year in a row, I had the privilege of sounding “Taps” near the end of the program on 12 November. That was immediately followed by the flag-folding ceremony. Brigadier General Raymond W. Coffey, U.S. Army Volunteer Reserve (USAVR), who was emcee of and principal speaker at the ceremony, read a script explaining the symbolic meaning of each of the 13 folds. Please see https://www.ushistory.org/betsy/more/folds.htm.

The principal of CLES is Jennifer Welch, and the chief organizer of this event was Kelsey Brady, music teacher. She played the piano and conducted the school choir in a number of patriotic songs. Students conducted the White Table Ceremony (aka Missing Man Table, Fallen Comrade Table, Fallen Soldier Table, POW/MIA Remembrance Table, and POW/MIA Empty Chair Ceremony). Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_man_table.

About 20 veterans, most wearing clothes that identified them with their military service, were honored by the school and the large audience of parents, relatives and friends. These vets have children or grandchildren who attend CLES. In addition to “Taps,” I sounded two other calls on my gorgeous Getzen bugle—“Assembly” and “To the Color.”

Please use the Archives column (left) to find the article of 18 December 2018 and read about and see many photos of last year’s ceremony.

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“Taps” Twice at Veterans Day Ceremonies at Crystal Springs Elementary School in Bothell

Posted by glennled on December 4, 2019

 

Now and then, a song will pluck your heart strings in a special way. That happened to me when I first heard “We Honor You” by Roger Emerson, a prolific, award-winning composer and arranger of choral music with over 900 titles in print and 30,000 copies in circulation. He wrote this song in 2016 and told me, “I have always felt a huge debt to those who fought our wars.”

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“Taps,” alongside the CSES 4th grade choir

I was at Crystal Springs Elementary School (CSES) in Bothell to sound “Taps” at the close of two school assemblies on 8 November. At 9:40 a.m., the K, 3rd, and 4th grade choirs performed, and at 10:25 the 1st, 2nd, and 5th grade choirs did so, under the direction of Jane Lin, general music teacher. It was the 4th graders who sang “We Honor You.”

Afterwards, I emailed Mr. Emerson (please see http://www.rogeremerson.com) in appreciation of his words and music: “I’m a VFW Bugler and play various calls at many military ceremonies and funerals. I’ll admit that it now takes something unique to move my heart strings. Last Friday…I heard ‘We Honor You’ for the first time. I am a Vietnam vet. The young voices of the 4th grade choir singing your song really got to me. They sang with innocent voices about things they never experienced but I did. They have the freedom we fought for.”

Ms. Lin’s programs were unabashedly chocked full of patriotism. A Cub Scout Color Guard presented the flags, and the kids and the audience of about 300 parents, relatives and friends stood with hands over their hearts, reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance.” Altogether, counting both assemblies, the choirs sang 11 different songs:

Jane Lin & Glenn Ledbetter, CSES, 11-8-'19

Jane Lin and Glenn Ledbetter

  • I Love America
  • The Great Defenders
  • One Nation
  • We Won’t Forget
  • On Veterans Day
  • We Honor You
  • Thankful for the USA
  • Thank you to Our Veterans
  • Grand Old Flag
  • Thinking of You
  • Hallelujah (Veterans version), accompanied on guitar by Collin Sarchin, CSES general music teacher

The well-organized programs moved along smoothly and timely. The choirs were well-dressed and well-rehearsed. Their movements were well-choreographed. They sang with feeling, precision, and fun. They spoke and read their parts nicely. Everyone knew what was next, and they were ready for their turn on the program. They were engaged—not bored and drifting. And they clearly loved their leader. The sound system, slide show, and light controls functioned perfectly. If this were a military unit, we would say they were proud and ready. And so was I when I sounded “Taps” for them on my beautiful Getzen bugle—twice!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it. The video is courtesy of Jane Lin, Crystal Springs Elementary School.

First Assembly (9:40 a.m.)

 

Second Assembly (10:25)

 

Audience

 

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Trumpet Show at Skyline Towers, Seattle—Flag Day Celebration One Day Early

Posted by glennled on July 8, 2019

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On 13 June, the day before Flag Day, I made my fifth performance at Skyline Towers, a retirement community in downtown Seattle. The first four were to sound “Taps” at various ceremonies, but this one was my first full-length, one-hour trumpet show for these residents. “I Stand for the Flag” is comprised of 25 patriotic songs and marches. About 40 attended and sang along and laughed at my jokes, riddles, and a limerick.

I used two trumpets (Getzen and Jupiter), a Super Olds cornet, and a Getzen bugle. Some favorites included the Sousa marches: “Semper Fidelis” (1888), “The Washington Post March” (1889), and “The Liberty Bell” (1893). Among others were “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” (c. 1863), “We’re in the Army Now,” (1917), “Over There ” (1917) and the official songs of each of the five branches of the U.S. military. We also went abroad to play some tunes from our allies in Great Britain: “Colonel Bogey March” (1914), “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” (1912), and the oldest one that I played, “British Grenadiers” (1716)—more than 300 years old! And many more…

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Olympic Tower at Skyline in downtown Seattle will be ready for occupancy in Fall 2021

It was an unusual venue. I was outside in the sunlight on the patio facing about 15-20 residents in chairs and wheelchairs. Behind them were two wide open, double doors, and another 20-25 residents were sitting there, inside a large meeting room. They furnished me with a microphone, but all the speakers were inside the room. That was fine, but could the outside residents hear me speak? They said they could, so away we went with the show—and it worked fine!

For articles about my past performances at Skyline Towers, please see my posts of 7 November 2018, 6 June 2018, 19 November 2017, and 10 November 2016, using the Archives in the left column of this blog. There you will find lots of information and photos about the two existing Skyline Towers at 725 9th Ave, Seattle.

Skyline Towers Expansion

The big news about Skyline now is its pending, nearby expansion. The new Olympic Tower at Skyline is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in Fall 2021. It’s located at 8th and Columbia and is already taking reservations for apartments (for ages 62+). At 21 stories high, Olympic Tower offers luxury, cosmopolitan, condo-style living with multiple restaurants, a pool/spa, and 360-degree views of the city, Puget Sound, and Mt. Rainier.

According to Skyline’s website, Olympic Tower is Seattle’s only true Life Care retirement community, with completely predictable living costs, just in case increased care ever becomes needed. The website indicates that already, the units are over 50% reserved.

There are a total of 77 apartments, and there are 23 different floor plans. The 1 bedroom, 1.5 or 2 bathroom units are sized at 1034-to-1415 s.f. All others are 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom units, and they range from 1309-to-1899 s.f.; those on the penthouse floor range from 1309-to-1487 s.f.

For more detailed information, please see https://www.skylineseattle.org/expansion-skyline-retirement-community-seattle/. Photos and renderings are courtesy of Skyline Towers. Please click on any image to enlarge it.

Posted in Shows at Retirement Homes | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trumpet Show on 31 May re: Memorial Day at Edmonds Landing Retirement Community

Posted by glennled on June 20, 2019

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For me, the trumpet show, “I Stand for the Flag” that I recently performed at Edmonds Landing Retirement Community (ELRC) was the last of seven performances clustered around Memorial Day.  Three performances during the period of 21-31 May were of that one-hour trumpet show of 25 patriotic marches and songs; four were strictly bugle calls—“Assembly,” “To the Color,” “Taps,” and “Echo Taps.” They were spread through Edmonds, Lynnwood, Seattle, and Mercer Island. It was exciting for me to have that level of activity in so many locales within 11 days.

The trumpet show at Edmonds Landing happened on the Friday (31st) after the nation had observed the national holiday four days earlier (27th). Patriotic feelings were still high. Awareness and memories of those who died in military service to our country were still high. Nancy Thomas, Lifestyle Director was right to book this show at this time. The residents are proud of America. They are blessed, they know it, and they are grateful for our freedom. They sang “America the Beautiful” and the other songs, and together, we stood for the flag.

Edmonds Landing Retirement Community (ELRC)

ELRC is located about four blocks southeast of the Washington state ferry dock in Edmonds. It is one of 9 communities in Washington operated by Frontier Management, founded in 2000 and based in Portland, Oregon. Frontier Management operates 90 communities in 16 states. One-third of those are in Oregon. Please see https://frontiermgmt.com/ and https://edmondslanding.com/.

Built in 2001, ELRC offers both independent and assisted living. It has 83 apartments with three different layouts: studio with alcove and one- bedroom (Types A & B). The main difference between Types A & B is the access to the bedroom and bathroom. Please see the floor plan drawings below. These and the photos are courtesy of Edmonds Landing. Please click on any image to enlarge it.

 

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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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“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?”

bugle that sounded end of wwi - nat'l museum of american history

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.
Leo-Foster (right)-WWI-Buglers-copy

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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