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66-Year-Old Teaches Himself to Play the Trumpet to Play Taps for Fallen Soldiers

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A 66-year-old man found a new way to honor those who lose their lives fighting for our country.

Gary ­Marquardt from Minnesota who is now almost 70, “started playing the trumpet after attending a military funeral, where he heard Taps played on a recording instead of live,” according to Liftable.

Feeling that a simple recording of the military song to commemorate fallen soldiers did not do justice for the funeral, Marquardt decided to help make sure these heroes got the funeral they deserved. Marquardt walks around a local cemetery every day looking for headstones with a flag so he can honor the soldiers.

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“I love to hear Taps echo through the cemetery. I’m doing something for these guys. It’s kind of like being among friends,” he said in an interview with KARE 11. The news source that Marquardt visits the cemetery every day to pay homage to military men and women who lost their lives.

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It’s never too late to pay your respects to the fallen – and for Gary ­Marquardt, that meant learning to play the trumpet at 66 years old.

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Marquardt says the soldiers name, plays Taps, and leaves a penny on the headstone. The penny is meant to be a “symbol of the pittance of his service compared to theirs.” He also volunteers with Bugles Across America around 100 times a year to play Taps at military funerals.

“I don’t play perfect every time – I really try to, but I’m there representing all of us and it comes from the heart,” he said.

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SICK: American Icon Plymouth Rock Vandalized, Spray-Painted in Massachusetts

It’s likely the vandalism is an anti-American hate crime.

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An icon of American heritage and civilization, Plymouth Rock, was found vandalized and spray-painted upon Monday morning by criminals at its namesake in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Plymouth Rock symbolizes the first arrival of the pilgrims from England in North America in 1620 A.D. The vandalism was found just weeks before a ceremony intended to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the pilgrim’s arrival in Massachusetts.

The large boulder is marked with the characters ‘1620’ to symbolize the pilgrims’ arrival. The rock was the first sight of those who disembarked from the Mayflower in the New World.

It’s unclear what the red spray-paint on the rock is intended to convey, but there’s a strong possibility the vandalism is motivated by hatred towards the icon of American culture.

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In addition to the rock, the spray-paint vandals also targeted a nearby statue intended to commemorate the first pilgrims to arrive in North America.

It’s also noteworthy that the vandalism was found on President’s Day, suggesting a further possibility of anti-American hatred as a motivation.

400th anniversary celebrations of the pilgrims’ arrival are scheduled for April, and to this day are a point of pride for many of their descendants who live in Massachusetts.

The director of a Plymouth cultural and tourism agency, Lea Filson, expressed her disappointment to see the icon of America so disrespected.

“Seeing this type of disrespect for the historic reminders of the Mayflower story is both sad and unsettling. The outpouring of concern and anger over the incident has been a positive ending to a thoughtless gesture.”

The town of Plymouth has already removed the vandalism from the rock, and local police are investigating to locate the culprits.

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