Veteran’s Day Lesson – Guns and Trumpets

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Jack Tueller plays the same trumpet he carried on 140 flights in World War II. (CNN)
The Power of Music” is a short video clip (embedded below) in which Jack Leroy Tueller, at age 90, recounts a remarkable experience he had in WWII while he was a young fighter pilot.

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UPDATED August 26, 2016:
One of the Greats of that Greatest Generation has flown into history. Jack LeRoy Tueller, Col. USAF Ret., died August 15, 2016 in Bountiful, Utah.
Full obituary.


Mr. Tueller tells of what happened one night hunkered down in the trenches of the battle field so close to the enemy, in the aftermath of a gut-wrenching ordeal. Most of us don’t have the opportunity to hear first hand what warfare was like back then.

“I thought to myself, that German sniper is as lonely and scared as I am. How can I stop him from firing? So I played that German’s love song, ‘Lilly Marlene,’ made famous in the late ’30s by Marlene Dietrich, the famous German actress. And I wailed that trumpet over those apple orchards of Normandy, and he didn’t fire.”

Watch this with your children and use it and the links at the bottom as discussion points for Veteran’s Day.

The song, a German love song known as Lili Marleen, was recorded in 1939 and was popular during World War II.
Jack continued to play his trumpet. He found great joy in making music and sharing the lessons he had learned in life with others, speaking and playing at many events. He has been featured on local and national news and documentaries. Some of his life stories have been incorporated into school curriculum materials.

More links:

The riveting backstory to what is shown in the clip.

The interview transcript.

Colonel  Jack Tueller began playing the trumpet as a young boy. The instrument helped him through a rough childhood, was the reason he met his wife, served as a constant companion when Jack was a bomber pilot during World War II and even helped save his life. LISTEN to the Story.

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