In honor of Veterans Day, we’re highlighting a special article from earlier this year. Please take a moment to read it and remember to offer thanks to the veterans in your life.
Memorial Day—the last Monday in May—is another day when Winnetka’s bugling barber sounds his mournful notes in remembrance of America’s war dead.
Since his days as a Korean War-era drum and bugle corpsman, Tim Milios has been paying final tributes to fallen American warriors by playing the haunting 24 notes of taps at their funerals. Taps, like Memorial Day itself, dates back to the Civil War.
Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar drawing nigh
Falls the night.
And it never gets easier.
“I choke up, especially when I see a picture of the soldier on the casket,” Milios says. “A sadness overtakes me, and I have difficulty playing.”
The former commander of the Morton Grove American Legion Post 134, Milios is a local treasure and a member of an increasingly shrinking corps of buglers across the country. In fact their numbers have reached such a low point that the Pentagon now accepts digital presentations of taps at some funerals.
Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh.
Milos moved his Golden Razor Barber Shop from Morton Grove to Winnetka several years ago. He retired as commander of the American Legion post last year but remains active and continues to play taps at ceremonies, on holidays and at funerals.
“When I play I can visualize the young men in uniform. For me it is an honor to pay final respects to someone who has given his life for his country,” Milios says.
Then goodnight, peaceful night;
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.
God is near, do not fear,