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Echo Taps at Greenlawn Memory Gardens

William A. West
Wwest News Service

North Kingsville_ A crystal blue sky and cooling breeze created perfect weather for the Sixth Annual Echo Taps Worldwide ceremony during Armed Forces Day Saturday at Greenlawn Memory Gardens in North Kingsville.
American Legion Neal Post 743 Adjutant Dean Luce started the ceremony by introducing bagpiper Gary Quine and the Posting of Colors by Neal Post 743 members.
“I believe the event started in Ithaca, N.Y., and line of buglers was about 80 miles long,” Luce said. “I started Echo Taps here six years ago after reading an article in the American Legion magazine.”
Emily Kline sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Post 743 Chaplain Duane Hatch delivered a prayer for veterans and families.
“We pray today for those who have suffered such life-changing wounds, injuries, that have changed the way they live for the rest of their lives,” Hatch said. “We pray for their families and the problems that come from that too. Lord, we pray today for our many veterans and their families who are present today.”
Hatch lamented about the decreasing roll of God in schools and the White House.
“God we would ask you, our God, for your blessing on our nation. But we have removed you from our courts, from our laws, from our schools and even from our White House,” Hatch said. “And how dare we ask you to bless our nation when we have done this. And Father, as your people here today, we do ask for your blessing on our country.”
Boy Scout Troop 11 member Tyler Pew, of North Kingsville, recited the Pledge of Allegiance
“I think it’s nice I get to come to the ceremony,” Pew said. “It is good that I get to do something for the veterans.”
Post 743 member Jack Ranney detailed the history of Armed Forces Day. The Edgewood Brass Ensemble, under the direction of Connie Sommers, played the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “God Bless America”.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to honor our veterans and represent the school and community,” Sommers said. “The kids are always happy to this.”
American Legion Assistant Chaplain Jim Campbell, Department of Ohio,

was the keynote speaker and told the story behind the tradition of playing “Taps” and “Silver Taps” before a crowd of more than 70 people.
Sara Wetzel read “The Bugle Speaks” by renown bugler H.D. “Marty” Martinez. Following a rifle salute, Martinez started the “Echo Taps”; followed by Jacob Crislip of Edgewood, Boy Scout Nick Rose of Troop 11, Stephen Long, Troop 11 Assistant Boy Scout Master Allan Richards, Logan Mueller, of Conneaut, Richard Sesko of Molded Fiber Glass, Charles Kizina, of Girard, Pa., Erik Braun, of Geneva, and Barb Taft on pocket trumpet.
The “retiring of the Colors concluded the ceremony.
Echo Taps Worldwide was hosted by North Kingsville American Legion Post 743 and Greenlawn Memory Gardens. The Veterans Administration, National Cemetery Association and Bugles Across America, Inc. sponsored the event. Flag Avenue was donated by Scott@Admiral of Houston, Texas.

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