Bugler's broken note remembered 50 years after JFK funeral

11:53 AM, Nov 17, 2013   |    comments
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ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- Some of the symbolism during the tragic time in American History during President John F. Kennedy's funeral is remembering the sounds. 

One particular note captured the emotions of the nation and spoke to the entire world at Arlington National Cemetery, 50 years ago.

In perfect harmony, flawless taps at Arlington Cemetery on Saturday morning. But it's the glaring mistake, on that 6th note, we come to remember 50 years ago at John F. Kennedy's funeral.

Ed Hunter, wrote to Bugler. He said,  "That one little note affected me I thought that guy must feel bad."

Ed Hunter was 10-years-old watching the funeral on his family's black and white television in Plymouth, Ohio. He thought during a time of consoling, he would also bring comfort to the bugler who sounded the broken note.

So he typed a letter: 'Anybody is bound to make a tiny mistake in front of millions upon millions of people.  At first, I did not notice it until they reran the picture.  You should hear some of the things I play."

He folded the letter and addressed it: 'To the man who played taps at President Kennedy's Funeral, Washington, DC. And he got it!

Sgt. Keith Clark wrote back.

Clark has since passed away. But decades later, Ed Hunter, has returned to Arlington Cemetery to honor JFK and the trumpeter who spoke to the sorrow of the nation by that sour note.

Sgt. Clark's daughter remembers her father being upset. Nancy McColley, Clark's daughter says, "When that note sounded we were aghast and embarrassed. But as time passed and memories dimmed, we realized that he did his very best special place in history if he hadn't missed that note we may not be here today."
Ed Hunter says, "To see something that connects me 50 years ago is pretty awesome.

McColley says, "My father's performance touched more people that day than I can imagine. What may have been a glitch in our family history was something precious moment for the entire nation."

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