Mesa man honors vets nightly by playing 'Taps' at sundown - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesa man honors vets nightly by playing 'Taps' at sundown

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Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013 7:39 am | Updated: 11:00 am, Sat Apr 13, 2013.

The sound of "Taps" echoes nightly over a Mesa golf course in one man's effort to show respect for the military.

From a Mesa home near Loop 202 and Recker Road, 24 notes ring out every 24 hours.

Hans Jessen, steps out on his balcony each night and plays "Taps".

"It is a haunting song really that means so much to so many people," he said.

Jessen, a musician since the 5th grade, actually gave up playing the trumpet when he went to college and started a career.

"I picked it up again after 50 years," he said. "Three years ago I started playing in the Mesa City Band and in church and then I joined "Bugles Across America."

"It is a volunteer army of buglers and trumpet players to play "Taps" at soldier's funerals," he explained. "There is a shortage of people who can actually play a live 'Taps.'"

Jessen explained he has driven long distances to play at funerals.

"When you see the expression on the family members' faces you can really feel the emotion," he said.

Jessen then decided to take that emotion and appreciation and share it nightly with his neighbors.

"They seem to like it," he smiled.

Jessen himself served in the Iowa National Guard. His father, three uncles and brother all served in past wars.

"Because of the sacrifices of our military, I'm able to enjoy freedom and a lifestyle I wouldn't otherwise be able to enjoy," he said.

After he finishes, applause can be heard throughout the community.

ABC15 Video: Mesa man's musical tribute

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