Published: 3:27 pm, Sun. May. 21st, 2017Updated: 3:25 pm
Beginning on Memorial Day, May 29, and running through Labor Day, Sept. 4, a bugler will take his/her place at the Soldiers Monument at Gettysburg National Cemetery at 7 p.m. to sound Taps, the bugle call known as the final honor for fallen warriors of the United States military forces.
Little will join with other buglers in a mass sounding of Taps on Memorial Day and will return to sound solo Taps May 31.
“One Hundred Nights of Taps Gettysburg 2017” is a joint project sponsored by The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, The National Park Service, and Taps for Veterans. The event is coordinated by Jari Villanueva, senior master sergeant (ret.), United States Air Force Band.
Little has previously participated with Taps for Veterans in sounding Taps at Arlington National Cemetery during “Taps 150,” honoring the first sounding of the bugle call in 1863, as well as at “A Bugle Call Remembered,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the sounding of Taps at the funeral of President John F. Kennedy.
Little began his musical training in 1955 when he entered the sixth grade band in Artesia. Following high school, he attended Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, earning a bachelor’s degree in music education. Little then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as a bandsman and bugler in the 589th USAF Band at Amarillo AFB, Texas, and MacDill AFB in Tampa, Fla.
While stationed at MacDill AFB, Little continued his education, earning a Master of Arts in Music Education at the University of South Florida before beginning a 28-and-a-half-year career as a public school band director. He was appointed assistant principal of Liberal, Kans., High school in 1998 and served as building principal from 2003 until his retirement in 2006.
Little and his wife, Barbara Colwell Little, also a 1962 graduate of AHS and a public school teacher for 37 years, currently reside in Mineola, where they ride with the East Texas Patriot Guard Riders. Jim is a trumpet player with the Lake Country Symphonic Band, plays trumpet with the Yantis First Baptist Church Praise Band, serves as bugler with the East Texas Patriot Guard Riders, and is a member of Bugles Across America. He also serves as the Texas State Chair of the National Band Association.
The Littles will both make the journey to Gettysburg to participate in this historic event.