BELOIT—While there was no officially sanctioned Memorial Day parade on Monday, Beloiters still found ways to honor veterans safely.
Sam Bowers of Beloit played Taps at 3 p.m. outside his home to honor those who died fighting for their country as part of The “Taps Across America” event where musicians play Taps together safely across the country in the outdoors at the same time. His wife, Jen Bowers, said her previous band teacher had shared information about the event on Facebook and Sam thought it would be great to do.
Another family took to the streets to honor veterans on Memorial Day. Ken and Debbie Hemmerle and their daughter, Sarah, played patriotic tunes as they marched along Bootmaker Drive on Monday morning. Debbie played a drum pad as Ken serenaded onlookers with a trumpet and Sarah played tenor saxophone. As they performed the first song, “America the Beautiful,” neighbors and their dogs came outside to listen to the pleasant patriotic surprise.
Sarah had come up with the idea.
“I think it would be nice for the veterans because they aren’t doing anything for them this year,” she said.
Sarah, a student at Blackhawk Technical College, has always been a musician. She plays in the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater at Rock County jazz and concert bands and the Green Beret Marching band. She used to play in the Aldrich school band and at Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS). The family had planned to make a special stop in front of the home of BMHS band director Chris Behrens.
Sarah can play clarinet, tenor saxophone, trumpet and violin. Recently, she’s been playing outside her grandmother’s window at The Suites of Beloit.
“She wanted me to play an Easter song,” Sarah said.
Sarah is also a former student at Anatowind Music Clinic in Beloit.
“Most students probably would not do this, because they would say there are not enough people, but Sarah enjoys music and feels she’d like to share her musical talent with the neighborhood,” said Anatowind Executive Director James Simmons.