After ten years of silence, music returns to Fort Gibson Cemetery

Posted at 4:20 PM, Dec 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-13 11:07:23-05

FORT GIBSON, Okla. -- It's the sound Fort Gibson has been waiting for: bells ringing after 10 years of a silent cemetery.

"We couldn't do any timing, everything had to be done manually. It was a nightmare trying to get it to work properly," cemetery director Bill Rhoades said.

The group American Veterans paid for the repair. It took a decade to raise the $10,000 needed.

"A lot of the people, a lot of the local community would even set their watch by the bell tower when it was working so I've had a lot of people ask about getting it back up," Rhoades said.

For veterans who visit the cemetery, they said this moment goes beyond just hearing the music again.

"That's an emotional 24 notes. You've heard that all the time you were in the service and quite honestly I can't hear taps without my eyes welling up," navy vet Ed Mason said.

For others who walk through Fort Gibson, hearing "Taps" hits even closer to home. Lieutenant Joey Cookson lost his son Cody in Afghanistan three years ago.

One year later the house across the street was on the market, allowing Cookson a view of his grave site. Now the location will give the father music to remember his son by.

"I'm excited now. But once it happens we'll just see. I know I'm going to enjoy it, but I'm sure it's going to be very emotional too," Cookson said.

The tower will play "Taps" every evening, and the Westchester Chimes every hour.


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