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Flags In on Memorial Day: Taps Across America

by | May 25, 2023

Meet at the Davidson College War Memorial at 2:30 p.m. Monday to help place flags. “Taps” will be played at 3:00 p.m.


While many view Memorial Day as the “start of Summer,” others take time to reflect on the significance of the day.

Memorial Day 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.

A tradition in Davidson is the placement of flags around the War Memorial located on the Davidson College campus. 

Ben Mitchell fielding a couple of questions before the ceremony began.

In 2020, 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, and Ben has been coming back ever since.

This Memorial Day members of the community are invited to gather at the Davidson College War Memorial at 2:30 p.m. to place flags. The Memorial is located behind Oak and Elm Row, and is accessible by sidewalks that cut through the campus from Main Street. Parking is also available behind the Cunningham Fine Arts building.

At 3:00 p.m. our young trumpeter will return to play the mournful 24-notes of “Taps.”

Veterans in attendance will be asked to tell their stories – if they are willing. In the past, Veterans attending this ceremony have 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.

WBTV, our local CBS affiliate, was in attendance in 2021 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.


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