9/11 Memorial Taps and Sunset by YOL Music Ambassadors
Every year, a local bank sponsors an memorial flag field with flags for those who perished in the 9/11 attacks. Our students wanted to help honor these heros and first responders who lost their lives trying to help others on that fateful day. Our students learned to play taps on various instruments and committed to playing taps at sunset at the flag field for a week. We asked parents to volunteer to perform with the students, as this was an event that touched all Americans, of all ages, and we felt it was appropriate to invite parents and older siblings to participate. The community was grateful, they attended and not a dry eye was seen. The musicians were touched by the event, even if it was done for very few onlookers as the week went on. The gravity of that day and the history of what happened was teaching us all something — that we were there for those who could not stand and hear, those who perished, the fallen. Many veterans also attended, and the local news stations came out to do a spot on the performance, opening the night’s newscast with video and audio of the event. It was a very good outreach, a wonderful volunteer opportunity, and a great learning experience. It helped our program be visible in the community, recruit more helpers and parent volunteers, and share the love of music among the participants
The target for our volunteer recruiting was with parents and older siblings who had musical abilities or experience and would would want to be part of such an event honoring the fallen of 9/11.
The target for service from the volunteers and students performance was the community at large, and specifically the first responders in our community who were also honored during this week long event.
Overview of planning and execution process for this project
The flag field has been there very year since 9/11. We just contacted the people who do it and offered to perform, at no cost. We circulated the email request and had good response from parents and older siblings who came and played with students at the event.
Total volunteers who participated10
On average, how many hours did each of volunteers contribute2
Did the volunteers receive anything in exchange for their time/service?
Estimate of overall financial value/cost savings of the volunteers’ work
General duties of the volunteers
Practice, performance, and execution of the music and recording of the event.
Specific Budget Breakdown
The program director printed music for the students and delivered it.
New or recurring project?New Project
Challenges/obstacles that were encountered
One of the challenges we found was getting enough trumpet students to perform for all the days we needed; therefore, we contacted some of the younger violin and viola students and a parent volunteered to teach them taps on their instruments for the event. We also used social media to notify people about when the sunset was happening so that they could come and hear it.
Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?
I think that this project was extremely successful. The parent volunteers were strongly invested in the project because they were alive when these attacks occurred, and some had family in the military. Additionally, parents enjoyed seeing their children do something they felt was valuable and noble for the community at large, in honoring veterans and heroes from 9/11 as well as first responders in their own community. Inviting the different fire houses out to the performances at sunset was a very good thing to do as well. We did have some trouble because “sunset” was too vague a time line. In future years we will give a clear time of day fo this to occur.
Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?
Contact your area VFW or Veterans Administration and see if they have any events already going on which you can be of help with. Use social media to promote the event and get parents and students involved.
This video shows parent Ryan Smith and his son Camden Smith performing Taps at the 9/11 Memorial Flag Field sponsored by Prosperity Bank in Lubbock, Texas.