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PA Town Council Threatens to Fine Navy Officer for Playing ‘Taps’ to Honor Servicemen

By Craig Bannister | June 29, 2017 | 12:54pm EDT
U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Corney

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Corney is being threatened with a $300 fine by Pennsylvania’s Glen Rock Borough Council for playing “Taps” each night to honor the men and women who have served and sacrificed in the U.S. military.

“When I was in Afghanistan and Iraq, I told myself, I had a conversation with God, and I said, if I made it home, I would do this,” Corney says in a video explaining why playing the song is so important to him – and to those in his community.

The Council sent a certified letter to Corney on Saturday forbidding him from playing “Taps” on an amplified system, except on Sundays and seven designated flag holidays.

As the York Daily Record reports, Corney’s audio tribute takes less than a minute – and the ban could set a dangerous precedent leading to the prohibition of everything from church bells to Christmas carols:

“The 57 seconds of Taps plays each night from a PA system. Corney views it as an "audio memorial," meant to pay respect to servicemen and servicewomen.

“If "Taps" is in violation, he says, then so may be other noises like the ringing of church bells and the annual Glen Rock carolers.”

While Corney has stopped playing “Taps” for now, he has begun to fight back. As a first step, he is circulating a petition to “Keep Taps in Glen Rock.” He has also resigned from the borough’s council as he investigates his other avenues of recourse.

"I want to be able to do this right," Corney said. "Maybe it's not that big of a deal to take a break for a while, get my ducks in a row."

Ultimately, Corney says, the final outcome will make define the very values his community holds dear: "It comes down to this is Glen Rock.”

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