Retired Lieutenant Commander Joshua Corney is proud of his 20 years of service to the US Navy. During his career, he had tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Corney understood that he was not guaranteed a safe return home, and was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. During one of his tours in Afghanistan, he decided to make a promise to God. He vowed that if he made it back home alive, he would play Taps every evening in honor of his fallen comrades.
He stated, “At one point, I made a promise to God that if he brought me home safe and sound that I would do something in remembrance of those that had fallen while I was there but to also those who have died in past wars and people who will die in future wars.”
Corney kept his end of the bargain until the city decided to intervene.
Every evening, like clockwork, Corney would belt out a rendition of “Taps,” the military bugle. This was his simple way of paying tribute to others who served the country. Corney’s 8 p.m. tribute was appreciated by many of his neighbors, but unfortunately not all.
One neighbor, Mike Patria, was particularly fond of Corney’s tribute. “It makes me take a moment and think how fortunate I am,” he said, adding that he found it “soothing.”
However, the Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, council stated that they had received a number of complaints about Corney’s 57-second tribute. As a member of the council, Corney was surprised to hear about the complaints.
“I take 57 seconds out of each day to show our community and our country that we stand behind the men and women of this country and what they do on a day-to-day basis, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, that’s what this is for,” he told Fox 43.
While Corney was recovering from a surgery, the council unanimously voted that Corney be restricted to playing “Taps” only on Sundays and holidays, in accordance with the city’s nuisance ordinance.
Corney was not pleased that the vote took place in his absence, and even accused the council members of deciding to vote on the day they knew he would be absent. The council refuted his claims.
“I’m willing to compromise and make things work, but don’t give me a different set of standards,” he stated. He highlighted that church bells went on everyday even after he received a letter stating that he was in violation of the ordinance.
The letter outlined that he could face up to $300 in fines for each violation.
After a year of trying to fight the council’s decision, Corvey lost. He now performs the tributes in private.