The story behind Taps throughout Warren’s Courthouse Square

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Every weeknight for the past few months, you can hear Taps being played at sunset from somewhere on Warren’s Courthouse Square. But where is it coming from and why?

Al Crouse, the evening custodian at Warren’s Board of Education offices, puts his large speaker into position every night, Monday through Friday. With a flash drive and music file, he fills Courthouse Square with the sound of Taps.

“We put it on every night at sundown for the veterans and the police and firemen that are on call for us every day,” Crouse said.

He got the idea from a news story about a Washington State man who plays Taps every night from his deck.

“And I said, ‘I’m down here, we got Courthouse Square, we got Veterans Park, I’m going to do this.'”

When Crouse started in August, sunset was around 8:30. Now that sunset is near 5, more people are hearing it.

“I’ve noticed the stone building across the street, people have been opening their windows now,” he said.

Leslie Dunlap works clear across the Square at Blush Spa and Gift Boutique. She comes from a strong military family.

“The sun was just going down and I hear this off in the distance,” Dunlap said. “Tears came to my eyes.”

“It’s a reminder every day of that sacrifice that they’re making for us,” said Michelle Beauchene, with Blush Spa and Gift Boutique.

Warren Superintendent Steve Chiaro likes what he’s been hearing.

“It exemplifies the type of person Al is and the kind of image we want our community to know about,” he said.

Crouse said he first heard Taps played during John Kennedy’s funeral. His father and brother were veterans and it was played at their funerals, too.

Since Veterans Day was on a Saturday this year, Crouse came in special that night to play it.

Even after hearing the music every day, he said it still gives him chills.

“I get a good feeling doing it and I think others appreciate it, too.”