Local bugler will help commemorate JFK

Chesterfield resident John Blair, Bugles Across America’s State Director for Virginia and Washington, D.C., will have a second chance to participate in an “opportunity of a lifetime” when he joins more than one hundred buglers from across America on Nov. 16 to take part in one of the ceremonies surrounding the 50th anniversary of the assassination and burial of President John F. Kennedy.

In May, 2012, Blair joined 200 buglers at Arlington National Cemetery to participate in the 150th anniversary of the creation of “Taps,” the somber 24-note bugle call used since the Civil War to signal the end the day for military personnel and later dedicated to honor military veterans and active duty military members at funerals.

“Taps” for Veterans, headed by Sgt. Villanueva and Bugles Across America, are again working with the leadership of Arlington National Cemetery to organize the event for November 16, “A Bugle Call Remembered: Taps at the Funeral of President John F. Kennedy.”

 While remembering President Kennedy, the buglers will also honor the soldier who sounded “Taps” on that cold, grey day at the revered Arlington National Cemetery. The late Sgt. Keith Clark, a member of Pershing’s Own, The United States Army Band, was chosen to sound “Taps” that day, as he had a number of times when President Kennedy was present for special ceremonies. Because the military honors were for an assassinated president, nearly everyone involved received unprecedented media coverage, and Sgt. Clark’s rendition of  “Taps” was no exception. In fact, Clark has become known over the years as The JFK Bugler.

Blair currently resides in Chesterfield with his wife, Heidi, and children Hayley and Ben, and is a member of the Festival Brass of Redeemer Lutheran Church.  He also sounded “Taps” at the Virginia War Memorial’s Veterans Day Ceremony, as well as Chesterfield County Veterans Day Ceremony November 11.

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