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Even without an audience, this retired Marine's tune hasn't dimmed

Posted at 10:31 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 01:31:41-04

CHANDLER, AZ — A pandemic didn't stop many from celebrating Memorial Day.

It also didn't stop others from honoring, remembering and paying tribute to the lives lost.

92-year-old retired Marine Frank Forte has made it a tradition to honor the men and women who've served, and those who were lost in service, in the one way he could- playing TAPS. He's done it every year for the last six years.

"This year they didn't ask me," he said. "I know why they didn't ask, because they weren't going to get these people all together in one place, so I decided to go out and I played it four times."

Forte stood outside his home at Atria Chandler Villas off Chandler Boulevard and Dobson Road in Chandler, and played his trombone for all to hear, even though where weren't too many around.

"[There were] only two people up to see it at eight o'clock in the morning," Forte said. "I kind of felt because of the situation I should do it.

Officials with Atria Chandler Villas posted a video of Forte's tribute on their Facebook page Monday, which has now been viewed more than 11 thousand times.

"I didn't consider it a big deal, it was just something I thought I had to do," added Forte.

The retired Marine says he's played the trombone since he was 14 years old, and was a part of the Marine Band in 1950.

"It's one thing just to go put flowers on the cemetery plot," he added. "You gotta think about those veterans out there that aren't living anymore like we are."

Forte hoping his tribute proves that even though this year, the world may be celebrating Memorial Day differently, it's meaning hasn't changed.