Residents, local scouts and a group of horn players gathered on Monday, May 29, in the traffic island in downtown Flossmoor for the village’s annual participation in Taps Across America.
Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson reminded those gathered that the program was born in 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the TAA website, CBS news correspondent Steve Hartman and retired Air Force bugler Jari Villanueva proposed that buglers across the nation sound taps at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day to unite the nation in remembrance since the pandemic made traditional gatherings unsafe.
“It was their way to bring people together to remember and honor those who died in service to our country,” Nelson said. “In 2020, there were over 10,000 buglers who stepped outside of their houses at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day to pay tribute.”
Flossmoor participated that year and every year since, she said. On Monday, Homewood-Flossmoor High School Band Director Sarah Whitlock was joined by trumpeters Annie Ford, Charlie Wachtel, Rocco Bonanotte, Joey Bonanotte, Mason Riedel and Whitlock’s husband, John Whitlock, in sounding taps.
Prior to pausing for taps, local Boy Scout Jim Yast made his way around the circle selling American flags as a fundraiser for Troop 364.
Following taps, Girl Scout Madlyn Philbin read a poem honoring the fallen. She noted that the poem accompanied a basket of toy soldiers. She encouraged everyone to take one of the toy soldiers as a token of remembrance.
The event concluded with an announcement from Flossmoor Veterans Memorial spokeswoman Kris Condon, who said the organization had met its fundraising goal and was beginning the process of building the memorial in the southwest corner of Flossmoor Park.
“A year ago we were here telling you about the Wall of Honor project. We had about $30,000 in the bank,” she said. “Today, I can tell you that there are survey stakes at the site of the proposed Wall of Honor and there is $100,000 in the bank. That happens with the power of community.”
After the ceremony, she led a tour of the site to explain the plans and provide some history of the village and its recognition of veterans.