Today I sounded taps for a WWII veteran There aren’t a lot of WWI veterans that are alive anymore. They are well into their 90’s and I only know a handful of them. To me they are heroes, members of the greatest generation. They stepped up, many volunteered, some lied about their age just to defeat evil in the world. My father and some uncles were involved as well as several men from my hometown. They returned home to build businesses and raise families in what they believed was a safer world.
Today I played taps at the graveside service for one of these heroes, Herb Kask. Herb and his wife of 72 years have been members of my church for many years. Herb was 94 when he passed.
Because of COVID-19 the family had a small burial service at Fort Snelling with about 10 family members in attendance. Ella had asked me several years ago if I could play taps at Snelling and I told her I could and would be pleased to do it for her. But she would need to ask the honor guard at Snelling for permission to bring in a personal friend to play taps as they have regular buglers with the memorial units. I am not a vet so can’t volunteer to join one of the squads but have played there on several occasions mostly for family that I know.
When he passed a few days ago and I learned of the plans I asked my pastor it he could ask Ella to have the funeral director get it cleared with Snelling. She did and so I was in to play. I knew she had a lot more important things to take care of and would probably not remember our conversation
Widows and family members all appreciate taps. It honors their loved one and brings additional closure to them. For me it is a huge honor to be part of the last sendoff to any service people, especially WWII folks. I had played at a friend’s mom’s funeral a month or so ago and she was a WWII vet too and have done several others. I sometimes joke that this is the only time I play that people appreciate it and they do! (I don’t claim to be very good!) When someone dies, we often ask the families if there anything we can do for them, usually there is not. But this is something I can do and am very willing to do it.
I loved watching Herb in church. He as about 6’4” tall and when he stood up to sing hymns and praise music he stood out in the crowd. I have heard he sung loud, evidenced by his wide-open mouth when he sung. I have also heard he was not a great singer, which makes it more special to have seen him stand and praise the lord in his own way.
My fondest memory is when we have a military honoring service at Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day. As is typical the organ or piano player will play the songs for the different branches of the service and anyone who was in that branch will stand up. It is impressive as they all stand at attention during the song exhibiting pride in their service. I especially liked watching Herb. He stood very tall and at attention, while radiating pride for his role in the Marines. It was obvious it the service meant a lot to him
I was incredibly grateful that I could be a part of this service. It is an honor to do it, which is why I do it
- Now available – Achievers: Ordinary People Who Do Extraordinary Things
- Connecting Peace, Purpose & Prosperity
- Who I Am
- Contact Me
- Book Reviews
- IN THE PRESS
- I AM AVAILABLE TO SPEAK TO YOUR ORGANIZATION
- Comments from readers of “Connecting Peace, Purpose & Prosperity”
- BANKERS GOT YOU DOWN?
- HELPING FOLKS IN TRANSITION AND STARTING THEIR CAREERS