How An Original WWII Bugle Made Its Way to Marianna

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email
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Marianna- It was a tune played across the country Monday, but very few people have heard 'Taps' played from an original World War II bugle.

"Well, it's quite a story..." 90 year old Albert Lane said with a smile. Lane was a B-17 Bomber Pilot in World War II. The veteran understandably had many stories, and indeed this was one of the good ones.

After the war, Lane went to work for General Motors in Detroit, Michigan before transferring with the company to Cincinnati, Ohio. There, he won a national sale competition for his performance.

"The zone manager at that time gave me the bugle as a symbol of my efforts" he said.

Lane retired in 1980 and in a sense, the original World War II bugle did as well.

"I kept it around" he said, "but I never could play any instrument. Both our children, we tried to get into instruments- one had a clarinet, the other played the trumpet."

Eventually, Lane made his way to Marianna here he and his bugle found a new home- and a bugler.

"I think the best place, is give it to our post here at the VFW" Lane said of his decision to bequest the bugle.

"He just allowed me to play on it" McNeill said laughing. But he quickly added that he played it every chance he got.

"It was either I play [Taps], or they play a recording [of Taps] and I just don't think a recording does our service men an women who have died justice. So, I'll drive however far I have to, just to play Taps, so we don't have to listen to a recording of it."

It's a song Lane and McNeill, said hit a personal note every time they hear it.

"I can bring my emotions [into Taps]. I can bring the fact that I am blessed to be alive still, and I could have been one of these [we are honoring]. And I can bring life to the music" McNeill said.

"Well, how does it feel" Lane asked, "well the only thing is I end up crying." And when I hear it I get emotional. You know? That's how it affects me when I hear it. But, its amazing that bugle could end up being used for something like this."

This was the third year McNeill has played the bugle for the Jackson County Memorial Day ceremony.

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