Memorial Day in a special way

Published 6:15 pm Tuesday, June 9, 2020

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To the Editor:

Memorial Day began on a somber note – was it to be sunny or drab; or too cool for an outside meeting with friends? The heaviness of prior weeks of dealing with dangers Covid-19 created had become an everyday concern.

Then I remembered, cancellation of the annual Memorial Day program. For many years, this had become one of the most honorable events in our town. A memorial monument has been erected, with hundreds of names of locals, and surrounding communities’ veterans, who served our great country – some who gave their lives sacrificially.

Today, flags will proudly wave over quiet towns, yet there will be no gathering of those who remembered, or young Americans to witness this reverent occasion. No old warriors to display some faded memorabilia that is still priceless to them. No singing of the National Anthem and no Taps. With a heavy heart, I began this unusual day, hoping it would soon pass.

I did not know what blessings awaited.

The air was warmed by sporadic bursts of sunshine and our meeting was one of the best. We brought fold up chairs, shared interesting facts and fiction and enjoyed being in fresh air. None of us, nor family or close friends had been sick, and we rejoiced that, through masks, we could smile with our eyes and if we listened closely, we could somewhat understand close conversations.

I returned home shortly after noon and as I wandered outside, I heard the most beautiful sound of TAPS being played – slowly, each note perfect, and each note echoing throughout the empty area of the Veterans Memorial Monument. I watched as a lone veteran proudly played Taps. When he finished, he paused in front of the monument, saluted, did an “about face” and marched to his truck.

Just names on a monument, birds in a now-sunny sky, one walking passerby and I had witnessed this amazing miracle! With tears in my eyes and a song in my heart, on behalf of my town, I thanked this HERO.

Family and friends of ALL area Veterans appreciate Mr. Gaines’ tribute.

Larry Gaines, a veteran, had played TAPS at this monument during a prior Memorial Day service(s). He told me that he could not let this day pass without acknowledging the significance of its meaning. He was on his way to visit other sites.

Trudy Gibson