This is a listing of the trumpet stories that have been submitted to the Trumpeter's Fanfare Team, listed newest to oldest. If you would like to add a story of your own, please do so here.
The deceased was a veteran, so he had military rights at the funeral. The rifle squad took aim. All seven guns fired three shots and the commander called, "Present Arms!"
As the commander called out, a mourful song song began to play. The trumpet player behind the mournful song was senior Jered Mills.
Mills is active in band and serves in band as vice-president, but one of the honors that he will remember the most is his role as the bugler who plays "Taps" at military funerals.
He was asked to play about a year ago and has been playing an average of four a month since then.
"It makes me feel honored to do that for them. I'd rather play, than have the color guard play a tape of someone playing it," he said.
This is something Mills takes seriously. "It means a lot to me because what I am doing is helping to remember who died and why."
He also thinks it's important that he plays because it is a tribute from the younger generation to the older. His role as the "Taps" player is important. Because of the sad circumstances, playing at a funeral is not something Mills really enjoys, but providing this last tribute is something that has to be done.
Mills generally doesn't know the veterans and most of the time feels distant from loved ones. However, his work as an impact on others. "Sometimes people come up with red eyes and swollen faces, tears running down theor face, and say 'Wow, that really touched me'". To him it makes it all worth it.
Besides playing "Taps" at funerals, Mills played for the Moving Vietnam Wall which came to Galesburg in October. It wa sponsored by the local VFW.
Every morning for a week, he participated in a service salute to the wall. " A collection of various service people met at the VFW at 9:30 each moring," Mills said. "We had coffee and donuts and talked about the specfic order of the ceremnoy.Then we would get into position and the color guard would march to the middle of the military wall and present the United States flag and the flag of the service that was represented that day. I would then play "Taps" and its echo."
He was impressed by the number of people who showed up to honor friends. "There were a number of school classes that came ranging from kindergarten to seniors," he said. "There was one person who was kneeling down. She had a paper and a crayon and was doing an imprint of a name. She seemed broken up by the experience, but afterwards she pulled the imprint off the wall, looked at it, and walked away."
Being part of this type of experience did not affect him emotionally, but it did make him feel like he was taking part of history. "Some older people came up to me and told me how great it was for me to be up there and play "Taps" for those names who appear on the wall."
Mills thinks it is important for young people to have experiences like this. "It gives young people a respect for history. It is also symbolic in a way. For instance, in the case of the Vietnam War Memorial, it's as if we owe it to them who fought for our country and ultimately our freedom."
Galesburg, IL USA - Friday, July 11, 1997 at 14:25:46 (EDT)
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