KUSA – For all those lost in an instant, the least we can give them is a moment — a moment to remember who they were and what they fought to protect. Mark Stallins gives more than a moment.
Every Memorial Day weekend, the Navy veteran plays “Taps” for the fallen at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
“Taps is a way of letting other people know that their loved ones are not forgotten,” Stallins said.
For the past four years, Stallins has played for a list of names. It started with his father.
“My dad’s buried in Section 13,” Stallins said. “What was supposed to be 20 minutes, play and then go home, turned into two and a half hours of other people wanting me to honor their families.”
This year, Stallins’ list had more than 80 names on it.
“That’s what we’re here for,” he said. “To honor — to honor those who’ve passed on.”
By his side on Sunday was Renee Nellis, there to capture each moment with her camera. Nellis saw Stallins four years ago, dressed in his Naval uniform and carrying his bugle through Fort Logan. She asked if she could take pictures and has joined him each year since.
“To show the expression on his face or the meaning behind it for him of what he is trying to do for everyone,” Nellis said.
Stallins said Nellis immortalizes the emotion behind each performance.
“Her photography is permanent and my notes fade,” he said.
They honored dozens of veterans and their families on Sunday.