Memorial Day Remembrances – 2021
While many viewed Memorial Day as the “start of Summer,” others took time to reflect on the significance of the day. Memorial is the day that our Nation pauses to honor all those who died in service to our Nation in war. It is the day to honor soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guard personnel, and civilians who died in battles around the globe in conflicts from World War I to the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last year, in the midst of the COVID pandemic CBS’ Steve Hartman issued a blanket plea to musicians to step up and step forward to play “Taps” on Memorial Day. It was that effort that resulted in a chance social media connection. We wanted to see if there was a bugler/trumpeter who could play “Taps” for the event in Davidson. Sure enough, a friend of a friend was sure their son could do it. And so he did.
This Memorial Day as several dozen people gathered near the Davidson College War Memorial a young trumpeter returned to play the mournful 24-notes of “Taps.”
Among the attendees were a number of Veterans – and for the 10-15 minutes leading up to the performance of “Taps,” Veterans told their stories. They served in uniform from 4-30 years, in all branches of service. Their wartime service spanned from Vietnam to the Gulf War to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Then as the hourly Westminster Chimes at Davidson College Presbyterian Church begin, the crowd fell silent. Twelve-year-old Ben Mitchell walked down the brick walkway and stopped in front of the Davidson College War Memorial. He turned, and when the bells finished tolling 3 p.m. he began playing “Taps.” Veterans saluted and the crowd remained silent as his notes echoed across the college campus.
WBTV, our local CBS affiliate, was there to capture Ben’s performance. And his solemn notes and a brief interview were part of the evening news broadcast. The online version of the story can be found at this link.
Ben has promised to keep coming back to support our annual Memorial Day Remembrances. We look forward to many performances in the coming years.