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The Iwo Jima statue was installed in the fall of 2018.
When heavy rains and early snowfall hit Monroe County last fall, work at the Welcome Home Soldier Monument basically stalled. Now it’s full steam ahead. Jim Keller announced this week that two bronze sculptures will be added this year.
The Vietnam statue has been in Albia for since last fall waiting for the weather to clear up. The statue takes its cue from the Washington, D.C. memorial of the three soldiers walking beside each other. It will sit on the back side of Humble Heroes Hill (the 100 flags).
The bugler at the monument is being paid for through an anonymous private contribution.
SOLDIER PLAYING TAPS
A second major statue, a six-foot tall Civil War bugler will be placed on the rise above the Roman crosses, pointing east toward the 100 American flags.
During the American Civil, buglers were an important part of every day army life. Calls from the bugle could be heard above the noise of battle, allowing instructions to be given by the sound of a call. The most well-known call aside from the “charge” call is “Extinguish the Lights,” which is played at the end of the day.
This instructed soldiers to snuff out candles in their tents and go to sleep. Gen. Daniel Butterfield originally composed the “Extinguish the Lights” call for his own brigade, but the memorable tune was soon adopted across the Union Army. Now renamed “Taps,” the call is used as a final tribute at veteran’s funerals.
A bugler served directly under the commander of a regiment. Often close by the colonel’s side, a bugler could relay calls over the noise of battle that told soldiers when to load, fire, charge and retreat. Due to his non-combatant status, a bugler carried no rifle, but was authorized to carry the musician’s sword, a light piece more ceremonious than functional.
In the field, a bugler could wear either a formal trimmed frock coat or a less formal, loose-fitting coach with four buttons known as the fatigue coat. The formal dress coat was knee-length with special musician’s trim running from button to button across the chest. The dress hat was a black, pilgrim-like hat with one side held up with a stamped eagle pin.
The front of the hat had a French hunting horn in brass, the insignia of the U.S. infantry. Bugler’s attire differed from camp to battlefield. Lager camps had more activities and occasions to wear the dress coach. Field gear would include such things as a canteen and haversack, both items necessary for daily life.
While the dress hat could be worn in the field, most soldiers found the forage cap more comfortable to maintain. The forage cap is more like a baseball cap with a visor and is the most common cap seen worn by soldiers of the time.
Keller said the statue would at some point be equipped with technology to play “Taps,” throughout the day or at special occasions.
The bugler at the monument is being paid for through an anonymous private contribution. Site work for both the Vietnam statue and bugler statue will be done at the same time.