Buglers Perform Echo Taps at Houston VA National Cemetery's Armed Forces Day Event
HOUSTON — The Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, will participate in the “EchoTaps Worldwide” event by holding a special ceremony on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 10 a.m.
In May 2005, an event called “EchoTaps” was performed in upstate New York in which 674 brass players from 30 states lined the roadways between the Woodlawn National Cemetery and the Bath National Cemetery, a distance of 42.2 miles, to play a cascading rendition of ‘Taps’ for our veterans. This tribute to the American military was recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a powerful and unique way to demonstrate our nation's deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country.
The keynote speaker will be Edgar Tucker, B.A., M.P.H., C.H.E., director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Other participants in the program include Jorge Lopez, Houston National Cemetery director; LTC George Lim, U.S. Army (Ret.); Jeannie Juergens; Col. Arch Ethun, U.S. Air Force (Ret.); Col. Norris Posehn, U.S. Army; and Esther Liptai. Participating groups include the Alief Hastings High School Marine Color Guard and VFW District 4, Ceremonial Detail.
For more information about “EchoTaps Worldwide,” visit www.echotaps.org.
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Houston VA National Cemetery is the second largest national cemetery in the region, encompassing some 419 acres of a former dairy farm in northwest Houston. The cemetery's focal point and the site of all special observances is the horseshoe-shaped building at its center known as the Hemicycle. This exposed aggregate structure contains a chapel and a 75-foot bell tower and encloses a courtyard that can accommodate as many as 5,000 people. All veterans with general or better discharges, their spouses, and dependent children are eligible for burial in a national cemetery. Eligible veterans may receive a VA grave marker or headstone even if they are not buried in a national cemetery. For more information, visit the National Cemetery Administration Web site at http://www.cem.va.gov.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: The Houston VA National Cemetery is located 15 miles northwest of downtown Houston. From Bush Intercontinental Airport, take John F. Kennedy Blvd. south to Beltway 8. Turn right onto Beltway 8 west and exit at Ella. Follow the feeder road west to the third traffic light. Turn left on Veterans Memorial Drive. Proceed to the first traffic light and turn left on T.C. Jester. The cemetery entrance is on the right.