Gary Davis plays taps each night at sunset on the porch of his Lighthouse Road home. Video by Peter Vankevich

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By Connie Leinbach

Gary Davis began to choke up as he talked about why he has played taps on his trumpet at sunset each night since Memorial Day.

Davis stands on his porch steps facing Lighthouse Road a minute before sunset each night and then pumps out the tune into the gathering gloaming.

It doesn’t matter if there’s an audience or not.

But one night a group of veterans listened, and they returned the next night.

“Obviously, it’s for our troops,” Davis said after finishing the short piece. It’s for those in harm’s way, or who are displaced, and who also are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think it’s the time we’re in,” he said, his voice starting to quaver. “It’s just one of those very moving kind of things…”

It’s for all the people who are trying to put things back together again and for those who are displaced.

“It’s a moment of quiet,” Davis said. “To let them know that somebody’s thinking of them.”

Gary and Trish Davis at their home on Lighthouse Road. Photo: C. Leinbach

Davis was inspired by watching the CBS program “On the Road with Steve Hartman” to honor America’s fallen heroes. “He invited everybody who played any kind of trumpet, trombone, whatever, to play taps at three o’clock on Memorial Day,” Davis said.

“I thought, ‘I oughta do that,’ ” Davis said with a chuckle.

So, he dusted off his trumpet and joined in, playing taps on a friend’s balcony at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.

“And that kicked me off and I’m over being shy about this,” Davis said. “I’m just gonna do it. And I think I’ve missed one day since then.”

A neighbor, Marissa Gross, who was walking her dog, Lucas, before Davis began one recent night, said she enjoys the nightly musical interlude.

“It’s comforting,” she said.

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  1. Day is done, Gone the sun,
    From the lake, From the hill,
    From the sky.
    All is well, Safely rest,
    God is nigh.

    Thanks and praise, For our days,
    Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
    Neath the sky,
    As we go, This we know,
    God is nigh.

    Fades the light; And afar
    Goeth day, And the stars
    Shineth bright,
    Fare thee well; Day has gone,
    Night is on.

    Go to sleep, Peaceful sleep,
    May the Soldier or Sailor,
    God keep.
    On the land or the deep,
    Safe in sleep.

    Love, good night, Must thou go,
    When the day, And the night
    Need thee so?
    All is well. Speedeth all
    To their rest

    © copyright 2010

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