Day by Day

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I have to pass this along

Because you need news like this to remind you that life isn't all bad.

On the day they buried Beecher Pierce, Nichelle Cushing stood at parade rest in a cold, pounding rain, some hundred yards from the coffin. High-top, lace-up boots slightly apart. A black beret cocked with formal precision on her hair. A small American flag pinned near the neck of her long black dress. One hand behind her back, the other gripping a 105-year-old bugle.

As Pierce's Masonic brothers concluded the rites, a gun squad of airmen in dress blue uniforms raised their rifles. Three volleys echoed across Fort Richardson National Cemetery.

Nichelle brought her boots together, shut her eyes, drew her full 5 feet and 1 inch to attention, raised the bugle to her lips and sounded the nation's final tribute to a fallen hero -- taps.

The 15-year-old Palmer High School sophomore never met Pierce, an 80-year-old widower when he died Aug. 13 in Anchorage. She only knew he was a military veteran and thus deserved to have the traditional "lights out" signal played at his funeral and to have it played by a living, breathing human being.

"I feel our servicemen should be buried with an actual bugler," she said, "not a recording."


A fifteen year old girl who taught herself to play the bugle so that she could properly honor fallen veterans.

If there's a hope for this country's future, it's in the hearts and minds of young people like her.

Found at Ace's place.

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