Taps In Vietnam

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Gary Canant, a Marine Vietnam veteran, plans to play Taps in Vietnam at battlegrounds along the DMZ and at the Hanoi Hilton prison site. He has launched TapsInVietnam.com to chronicle the trip.

Gary Canant, a Marine Vietnam veteran, plans to play Taps in Vietnam at battlegrounds along the DMZ and at the Hanoi Hilton prison site. He has launched TapsInVietnam.com to chronicle the trip.

Says Canant, "I plan to return to Vietnam in the spring of 2007 to play Taps for the people lost in that war from all sides during and after the conflict. My son Kevin and my wife Maxie will accompany me. Maxie will read the names of the fallen, and then Kevin and I will play Silver Taps, a haunting duet version of Taps." Kevin is an Army veteran of the War in Iraq from 2003-2004. Maxie is THE Maxie from the Dear Maxie letters on http://www.dearmaxie.com

Log on to http://www.tapsinvietnam.com for more details. There you can submit the name of someone to remember when we play Taps, become a sponsor, and review the names and tributes to the fallen. Later, you will see the photos and stories of the trip as it happens.

The trip will focus on Quang Tri Province, the site of some of the most intense fighting during the war. The Province was the northernmost part of the old South Vietnam and includes Dong Ha, Quang Tri, Cam Lo, Gio Linh, the Rock Pile, Khe Sanh, Con Thien, portions of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the southern part of the old DMZ. During the conflict, more bombs were dropped on Quang Tri Province than were dropped in all of Europe during WWII. Since the end of the war in 1975 over 5,000 people, including 500 children, have been killed in Quang Tri Province by landmines, cluster bombs and unexploded ordnance left behind.

Over the past several months, Gary has contacted the local governments in Quang Tri Province to get permission to play Taps in their country. Most officials in Vietnam have been warm and welcoming since the focus of the project is to honor all American and Vietnamese lost during the war and others who were innocent casualties of war. So far, the only piece missing is permission to play Taps at the site of the old Hanoi Hilton where many American POWs were held. Gary is very hopeful that Vietnamese officials will allow Taps at the old Hanoi Hilton, too.

Gary says, "The Taps In Vietnam concept began as a way for me to create closure by having the memorial services we never had during the war. It has since grown into a much larger project to let people who lost so much in that war express their losses and share common memories."

Gary added, "I hope that during my lifetime Kevin and I will have a chance play Taps in Baquba and Baghdad in memory of people lost in the Iraqi War."

Semper Fi,

Gary Canant

Bugler. 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines 1968-1969 in Vietnam

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