At the corner of Post Office St. and 21st St. in Galveston, Texas, an 83-year-old Marine vet named Guy Taylor emerges onto his balcony every night at sunset for one very special reason. When he was fighting the Korean War, one of his best friends, Cpl David Champagne was killed in action. Years later, when Taylor traveled across the country to Maine to visit his friend’s grave, he promised to play “Taps” every single day as a tribute to Champagne and all fallen heroes.
Ever since then, he plays the bugle call in the middle of downtown Galveston with the hopes of getting others to stop and remember those in our armed forces.
Fellow veteran and city Constable Clint Wayne Brown brings his cop car to the intersection outside his upstairs apartment and stops traffic while Taylor performs. He’s been doing it for the last four years, ever since he drove past Taylor and was astonished that other passersby simply ignored the tribute.
“It’s like that cup of coffee every day — you gotta have it every afternoon,” Brown told CBS News. “You’re hooked on it.”
When Karla Bruton Smith heard the performance while eating at a restaurant across the street, she immediately left her table to be a “part of the experience.”
“I think that hearing ‘Taps’ — that final farewell song — struck a chord with everybody,” Smith explained. “Every generation, whether you’re younger or older, is impacted by someone in our country’s involvement in the military combat.”
After Smith shared a video of the performance on Facebook last month, it was shared over 125,000 times.
“I hope it lets people realize that this matters,” Smith said. “We need to give respect to our veterans; they have all sacrificed so much.”
Click below to see footage of Taylor’s stirring rendition of “Taps” in honor of his late comrade.