AURORA, Colo. — It is a sound that is both hopeful and heartbreaking, and playing it is a calling Tim Park has answered for the past 15 years.
"I feel honored and privileged to be able to honor the sound, honor the vet," Park said.
Park sounds taps for our country's veterans with Bugles Across America. The group ensures military veterans, police and firefighters are given a proper burial with a live bugler. Every year, as the director for Colorado's chapter of Bugles Across America, Park organizes and takes on dozens of "missions."
"Not one phone call goes by where if there’s not a bugler available, he doesn’t drop what he’s doing to go out and pay respects to our fallen brother or sister," said Annette Johnson, Park's wife.
"Sometimes he’ll do as many as four events statewide in one day," said Mike May of Bugles Across America.
Park, a Navy veteran, started playing the trumpet as a kid, but he's never played a song more important than these 24 notes.
"There was an event that I accepted, a mission in Grand Lake," Park recalled. "The vet that I was sounding taps for was one of the very first soldiers to liberate the concentration camps in World War II. I think of him, I think of my father, I think of Annette’s father, I think of all of our fathers and that they served. They were the greatest generation."
For Park, it is a small way to show his gratitude — a final salute to America's fallen heroes.
Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.