Breaking News
More () »

'I cry like a baby': Milledgeville's unique Taps Across America tribute

Now in its fourth year, the event at Duke's Lounge draws a statewide crowd.

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — As people paid tribute to fallen soldiers across the nation Monday, folks in Milledgeville honored them in a special way.

Taps Across America at Duke's Lounge on Lake Sinclair has become a Memorial Day staple. For some, it's now more of a pilgrimage, as the event draws a statewide crowd.

It's a series of 24 notes every American knows.

"I cry like a baby. It hurts my soul," said Lisa Rich.

"It means a lot to me just reflecting on them and what their sacrifice was," said Larry Edwards.

Taps mean something different for everyone. At Milledgeville's Taps Across America tribute, 'different' is the key word. People gather on land and on the water to hear the somber tune.

"We were out boat riding, and we just showed up here. And they had Taps Across America," Rich said.

Rich and her husband stumbled on the event a few years ago. Now, the Toombs County couple comes every year along with their friends.

"Bill was in the service, so it's important to him. And my children's father was in the service, so therefore I was in the service," Rich said.

When Rich hears Taps, she thinks of her children's cousin, Dustin Wright, who died serving in the Army.

"Since he was a baby, he just smiled. Never was he ever unhappy. He just always had a smile on his face," Rich said.

It's the good memories that get her through the tears, but they'll never erase the pain.

"Those are the ones that didn't make it back home. They gave it all. You can't say enough about them," Rich said.

That's why every Memorial Day, Lake Sinclair is where you'll find her.

Taps Across America started in 2020, inspired by a CBS On the Road segment with Steve Hartman. This year, buglers from all 50 states played to honor the fallen at 3 p.m., including more than 60 from Georgia.

Before You Leave, Check This Out