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The Suburbanite
  • ‘Taps’ calls a father to his son

  • Scott Warner woke one morning thinking about his past. As an Eagle Scout, he was the bugler for Troop 15 in Louisville. “It was surreal. I never, ever thought I’d be a bugler again, and could never imagine playing for (my son). The emotions were incredible; my nerves got the best of me,” Warner said.

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  • Scott Warner woke one morning thinking about his past. As an Eagle Scout, he was the bugler for Troop 15 in Louisville.
    “I suddenly wanted to look at my bugle. I thought it was in a box in my attic, but it wasn’t. It was lost,” he said.
    Years later, he mentioned the bugle to his brother, David.
    “He found it in his attic. It still plays. I guess once you learn it, you’ve learned it forever — even 30 years later.” It became a passion. Scott Warner joined a group called Bugles Across America that provides buglers at military ceremonies and funerals.
    “About 90 percent of the time, ‘Taps’ is a recording on a CD. There aren’t that many buglers around anymore,” he said.
    That attracted Warner to Taps 150, a buglers’ reunion marking the call’s 150th anniversary at Arlington National Cemetery. On May 18, 150 of them gathered at the cemetery’s Old Amphitheater in Washington, D.C.
    “We played ‘Taps’ en masse. It was a lot harder than I thought,” he said. Many of the players were professional musicians.
    Then, they spread throughout the cemetery for an encore that filled the hallowed grounds with the hallowed bugle call.
    Warner played over a grave marked Pfc. Heath D. Warner, USMC. His son, age 19, was killed by a roadside bomb that racked his Humvee in Haqlaniya, Iraq, on Nov. 22, 2006.
    “It was surreal. I never, ever thought I’d be a bugler again, and could never imagine playing for (my son). The emotions were incredible; my nerves got the best of me,” Warner said.
    He recalled his son’s devotion to duty, honor, country, handed down from generations of veterans in his family. Heath Warner’s goal was to be principal of his high school, McKinley Senior, and to help students thrive.
    “He always had a desire to serve. I am from a family with the core values of God, family and country,” Warner said. “We instilled that in Heath. It was natural that he would join the service.
    “Playing ‘Taps’ for our son — I couldn’t think of a more honorable thing.”