Stateline saxophone great gives musical Memorial Day tribute


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) ─ A stateline saxophone great gives musical tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for our country.

“Happy Memorial Day, my name is Harlan Jefferson,” said Jefferson. “I’m going to play a few songs for you, “Taps” and the “National Anthem.”

Harlan Jefferson Facebook

Memorial Day took on a different feel after many traditions were forced to canceled this year.

“People die for you. People are doing some things I wasn’t built for. Somebody has to do it,” said Jefferson. ‘So, I salute the folks that are doing it. We need you to be strong, be safe.”

Veteran John Stines took time to stop and listen.

“I wanted to hear the bugles and taps again,” said Stines. “I served on a World War II submarine, which was called a boat. This is my 50 year patch, that’s the only medal i’ve ever got.”

“What’s that for?” asked Eyewitness News reporter Alexis Carpello.

“Well, that’s for being in the military during a certain time,” responded Stines.

Stines says it is important to remember Memorial Day is not about veterans like himself, but instead about honoring the fallen. But, says more can be done to help living too.

“Everybody should take care of their veterans. A lot of them don’t have the opportunities that I’ve had,” said Stines. “The Veterans Association has been good to me, but some people are having problems. So, we need to take care of them, build more hospitals for them or make them closer. Right now, if you want anything major, you’ve got to go to Madison.”

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