June 27, 2018

Senator Hassan Recognizes Retired Air Force Master Sergeant Lee Hirtle of Northfield as June’s “Granite Stater of the Month”

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Click here for a video of the Senator’s remarks. 

WASHINGTON - Senator Maggie Hassan today recognized retired Air Force Master Sergeant Lee Hirtle of Northfield as June’s “Granite Stater of the Month” for his incredible dedication to honoring service members and veterans who have passed. Master Sergeant Hirtle is also a retired New Hampshire State Trooper.

After attending a military funeral where “Taps” was played from a C.D. player a decade ago, Master Sergeant Hirtle took up his old high school trumpet and has now sounded “Taps” over 3,650 times across the Northeast. His work to help ensure that every fallen service member and veteran who has made the ultimate sacrifice is honored with a live sounding of “Taps” represents the best of New Hampshire, and Senator Hassan was proud to recognize him today on the Senate floor.

Senator Hassan launched the “Granite Stater of the Month” initiative last year to recognize outstanding New Hampshire citizens who go above and beyond to help their neighbors and make their communities stronger. To nominate a New Hampshire citizen to be a “Granite Stater of the Month,” constituents can complete the nomination form here

Click here and see below for a statement from the Senator recognizing Master Sergeant Lee Hirtle on the Senate floor. 

Mr. President, I also rise today to recognize retired Air Force Master Sergeant Lee Hirtle – who is also a retired New Hampshire State Trooper – of Northfield, New Hampshire, as the June Granite Stater of the Month for his incredible dedication to honoring our service members and veterans who have passed.

Over a decade ago at a military funeral, Master Sergeant Hirtle noticed that “Taps,” the traditional bugle call performed at military funerals, was playing from a C.D. player hidden behind a gravestone…

When he returned home from the funeral, Master Sergeant Hirtle went to his basement and dusted off his old trumpet, an instrument he hadn’t touched since he was a college student. He taught himself to play “Taps,”, and practiced until he was skilled enough to play at funerals of fellow veterans and service members.

Since playing at his first funeral in 2007, he has sounded “Taps” over 3,650 times across the northeast.

When asked why he continues to sound “Taps,” Master Sergeant Hirtle talks about his first military funeral. At that funeral, he stood alongside a New Hampshire National Guard member named Corporal Scott Dimond...

A year later, after Corporal Dimond was killed while serving in Afghanistan, Master Sergeant Hirtle sounded “Taps” at his funeral. As Master Sergeant says, service members like Corporal Dimond and all of our veterans deserve the live version of “Taps.”

We can never fully repay those who have served or have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom, but we must commit ourselves to honoring those sacrifices…

Master Sergeant Hirtle does that and is a true embodiment of that commitment, and for his dedication to honoring those who served, I am so proud to recognize him as the Granite Stater of the Month.

Thank you, Mr. President, I yield the floor.

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