The poignant and moving music of taps playing that drifts through the Cedaredge air every evening at 7 p.m. emanates from a rooftop speaker at the Shady Creek RV Park.
There, Cathy Meskel has set the 44-second-long recording on a timer to play every evening as her personal tribute to America's military and its families.
Meskel, who owns the RV park with her husband, Mike, began the project last Memorial Day, she explained. During the week leading up to the national holiday, she began playing the recording at increasingly more audible levels of volume. On Memorial Day, the volume reached 10 on her back porch amplifier, and that evenings's recording was accompanied by an honor guard and military salute conducted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Since then, people have been trying to figure out where the music is coming from. "They come right into my driveway and ask, 'Where is this coming from?'" Cathy explains.
People walk by and drive by looking for the source of the music. "We've been trying to figure out where this is coming from," they tell her. "Veterans who come to hear it cry – every one," Cathy said.
She got the idea for playing taps every evening when a resident of the RV park sent her an email of a 70-year-old veteran in Washington State who plays taps on his bugle every evening.
"This is just such a minimal thing to do in recognition of what service members, veterans, and their families have to go through. It is an honor to play taps for them every evening," Cathy said.
Residents in nearby neighborhoods who rarely interact come outside at evening to hear the short recording. Meskel believes that playing taps this way is creating a beneficial community effect by bringing neighbors together.
There are other people who know that Cathy is the one behind taps at evening. "You can't believe how many people have stopped me to say how much they appreciate it," she said. One acquaintance stopped her in the potato chip aisle at the grocery story and with tears in her eyes thanked Cathy.
Cathy has a true heart for the military services and for veterans, and she has a track record of distinction displaying it.
Before she and Mike moved to Cedaredge several years ago and bought the Shady Creek RV Park, she maintained displays of large, satin yellow ribbons along the town's main street in Rifle.
"For seven and a half years, there was never a yellow ribbon down on Main Street, and I replaced them every two months," Cathy said.
After coming to Cedaredge, she continued the yellow ribbon honor for a time. In addition to that, she has sent thousands of encouraging letters and "care packages" at her own expense to active duty military serving overseas.
She recalls the day that "I filled 16 baskets full at Dollar Tree." The bounty of personal care and comfort items, games, and other items was headed for combat zone soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen.
Cathy is now organizing the second annual Stars and Stripes Military Ball at the Stolte Shed on Nov. 9
She asks, "As a community, is it too much to stop and take the effort to remember the sacrifice of those who have been lost and those who serve. Just 44 seconds to stop and remember. That's what it is all about. It's amazing.
"I'll never stop," she said.blog comments powered by Disqus