I joined with buglers across America at 3:00 PM to pay tribute to all who gave their lives for our freedom.
Posted by Mark Young on Monday, May 25, 2020
At 3:00 pm on Memorial Day, thousands of musicians across the country stepped outside to play “Taps.” Most persons played the trumpet or bugle, but there were trombones, tubas, flutes, and other instruments. The “Taps Across America” idea originated with Steve Hartman, the “On the Road” correspondent at CBS News.
Among those musicians was one very talented United Brethren minister: Rev. Mark Young, Pastor of Worship and Music at Mount Pleasant UB church in Chambersburg, Pa. He has been on staff there since 2004, and helped lead music during the 2017 US National Conference in Lancaster, Pa.
Mark knows “Taps” well. For six years, 1989-1995, he played lead soprano bugle for “The Commandant’s Own,” the US Marine Drum & Bugle Corps in Washington D.C. For a year before that, he was a Presidential Honor Guard with the US Marine Corps.
Mark’s Dad, Rev. Paul Young, played and taught trumpet and baritone at the Navy School of Music before he became a Minister of Music.
“My Dad taught me to play the trumpet when I was four years old,” Mark says, “and I played it from middle school to college. He was my mentor all my life until he passed on to Heaven last year.”
Mark entered the US Marine Corps as an infantryman in May of 1988. Six months later, he became part of the Presidential Honor Guard, and served in that role until September 1989.
“In the Presidential Honor Guard, we stood in formations at the Pentagon for the President and visiting dignitaries. We did parades at the Iwo Jima monument on Tuesdays, and at Marine Barracks 8th & I on Fridays, where the Commandant of the Marine Corps resides. We were ‘professional marchers.’ All of our steps and M1 rifle movements were in complete synchronization. We marched for Presidential Inaugural parades and for other special events. We did 21 gun salute ‘firing parties’ for funerals at Arlington National Cemetery almost every day, and marched in formation for full honors funerals.”
They also trained as infantry platoons at Quantico, Va. In 1989, Mark switched to the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps. A month later, his platoon suddenly and unexpectedly went to fight in Desert Storm. Fortunately, all of his fellow Marines made it back safely.
“As a bugler in the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, I played ‘Taps’ at Arlington National, Lincoln National, and other cemeteries near D.C. with my friends from the Honor Guard (A Company) who did the firing parties. They called me ‘the Boogie-woogie bugle boy from company A.’ We also performed at the Iwo Jima monument on Tuesdays and at the Barracks on Friday. We traveled around the U.S., performing for several thousand spectators every year.”
Mark and his wife, Kimberly, met when Mark was in the Honor Guard, and they were married in 1992. Their son Christopher is currently deployed in Qatar with the US Air Force.
Kimberly, too, is a vet–a former major in the Army Nurse Corps. Interestingly, their fathers served together in the Navy at the School of Music in Anacostia, and their mothers grew up together, in both church and school, in Bladensburg, Md. Kimberly is now the Clinical Educator for the Summit/WellSpan Physician Offices. Among other things, she teaches new nurses how to correctly swab for Covid-19.
Thank you Mark, Kimberly, and Christopher for your service to our country, and for your ministry within the United Brethren church. And thank you, Mark, for participating in “Taps Across America” and sharing it with us.