‘Taps on Tuesday’ honors those in military | News
Several years ago, after participating for the first time in the “100 Nights of Taps” event at the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pa., Larry Weatherford has thought about adapting a program like that to our area.
This year, that’s coming to fruition with an event called “Taps on Tuesday.”
He said the short program will consist of a brief introduction, a patriotic reading or song and the playing of “Taps.”
“The solemn sound of the 24 notes of ‘Taps’ is the key to the program,” Weatherford said. “I didn’t realize what a feeling ‘Taps’ gives you until I finished reading Lincoln’s Gettysburg address aloud there in the National Cemetery, and it was followed by the playing of ‘Taps.’ You could see in their eyes and faces what it meant to the veterans, current military and others attending. We invite the public from Eastern Illinois and Western Indiana to join us for a time to reflect, remember and honor those who have served in our military.”
While it won’t be nightly like the Gettysburg event, it will be weekly at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning on Flag Day, June 14 and continuing through the end of August.
The first three programs will be presented from the steps of the Vermilion County War Museum at 307 N. Vermilion St. The July 5 program will be next door to the museum at the Minute Man monument in front of the former Federal Building, now the Vermilion County Administration Building.
“After that, we’ll have some more at the War Museum, since it represents veterans of all wars, but we’ll also travel to other locations such as local cemeteries to honor veterans there, and to dedicate some newly installed military tombstones,” Weatherford said. Those locations will be announced.
The local “Taps on Tuesday” team consists of Weatherford, his wife Rhea, Tara Auter, Greg Green, Jim Switzer, Susie Miceli-Green, Anna Freeland and Jocelyn Hammond.
“On Flag Day, a member of the American Legion Post 210 Honor Guard will sound ‘Taps,’” Auter said. “After that we’ll have some other guest trumpeters/buglers, but most of the time, we’ll feature Anna and Jocelyn, who are high school students. We are following Texas’ lead by awarding each of those young people tuition toward their college for participating. The purpose of Taps Across America is to get people, especially younger individuals, to sound Taps at events and funerals. The rest of our team will rotate as readers and coordinators for each program.”
Guest speakers also will be featured at some of the programs, such as Paula Hurst of the Governor Bradford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at the Minute Man statue.
Rhea Weatherford said, “It’ll only take a few minutes of your time on a Tuesday to honor our veterans. You can think of a neighbor you knew while growing up, a friend, a member of your family, a long-lost ancestor or veterans in general.”
The group participated in the Taps Across America program on Memorial Day in three Vermilion County locations. The founder of that nationwide event with thousands of participants, Jari Villenueva, along with Wendy Allen also started the Gettysburg “100 Nights of Taps” program.
“Being a veteran, the son of a veteran, and with several family members who have served, the sound of “Taps” just brings out an emotion that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck and brings out so much pride in being an American,” Jim Switzer said.
The sponsors for the local event are the Danville Lions Club, Ward Hill Lamon Civil War Roundtable, Illiana Civil War Historical Society and Danville Township.