BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
WOODS CROSS — On a day set aside to remember America’s war dead, a 93-year-old veteran of three wars, called on Woods Cross residents to love their country, vote and become involved in the community.
Air Force Col. Jack Tueller, a Bountiful resident who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, was the guest speaker at Woods Cross’ annual Memorial Day celebration held Monday.
Hundreds of people attended the flag raising ceremony, 5K race and breakfast, and other events at the celebration, not only hearing from Tueller, but enjoying patriotic music from a male octet formed by celebration-regular Rob Ellis. Lighthearted numbers came from the McCabe Sisters, who belted out “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy in true Andrews Sisters fashion.
Winners of a sixth grade Woods Cross Elementary School essay contest read their essays on what Memorial Day meant to them.
A color guard of Woods Cross and Bountiful police hoisted the flag as a Davis County Sheriff’s deputy played taps.
Eight hundred runners and walkers participated in this year’s 5K race.
Tueller, a familar speaker in south Davis County, regaled the audience with his words of advice, spattered with today’s lingo, drawing appreciative comments and laughter from about 300 people who attended the flag raising ceremony.
“I learned to be happy,” Tueller said of his sad childhood. “I learned more from my bad hair days as I did from the happy days,.”
Tueller, a fighter pilot, learned how not to be angry through music. He learned to play the trumpet, and played each evening during World War II in France, using his music to relieve stress in much the same way as his comrades used liquor.
“I was the only non-drinking fighter pilot in the unit,” he said.
He shared his story of playing a German love song for an enemy sniper a few miles from Omaha Beach during World War II.
After a particularly hard mission, he got out his trumpet to play, but his commander asked him not to because there was a German sniper ready to shoot at whatever noise was made.
“I played the German love song, ‘Lili Marlene.’ The sniper didn’t fire,” Tueller said.
“The next day we were told there were some German prisoners of war ready to go to England. One of them kept repeating, ‘Who played the trumpet last night?’”
Tueller said he jumped in a Jeep and went to meet this enemy soldier.
“He was a 19-year-old boy. I was 21,” Tueller said. “He was scared and told me the song reminded him of his fiance, his mom and dad, his brother and sister. I shook hands with the enemy through barbed wire.”
Tueller encouraged those in the audience to be peacemakers.
“When you screw up, go to the person and ask ‘what can I do to make you happy?’ Those are magic words that do not fail,” he said.