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The Day Taps Echoed Through Belgium's Hills

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The Day Taps Echoed Through Belgium's Hills

The Day Taps Echoed Through Belgium's Hills

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/153599712/153679342" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Time now for StoryCorps, recording the memories of people across the country. On this Friday before Memorial Day, we'll hear from a veteran of World War II. When the war ended, Harrison Wright was serving in the army in Europe in a small village in Belgium near the border with Germany. And at StoryCorps he told his grandson about being sent on a special assignment.

HARRISON WRIGHT: I was an 18-year-old boy, and I blew the bugle in our outfit. If a young man is killed in action or dies defending his country, you blow "Taps" over his grave. And it just - there's no way to describe it, the emotion that you feel, knowing that those notes is going out.

And I remember the war was over just a few days, and they asked me to blow "Taps" for all who died in the war.

We climbed this high hill. It was like a mountaintop. And my battalion was at the bottom. And I blew those "Taps." And when I did, the men said it floated out across all that valley, and said it was beautiful.

(SOUNDBITE OF "TAPS)

WRIGHT: They were all telling me how good it sounded, and what a tribute it was to our fallen comrades.

(SOUNDBITE OF "TAPS")

MONTAGNE: Harrison Wright with his grandson, Sean Guess, at StoryCorps in Austin, Texas. His interview will be archived at the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress. Hear more on the podcast at npr.org.

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