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A story for Veteran’s Day

November 5, 2011
Sue Eckhoff - Grundy County Heritage Museum , Reinbeck Courier

Between the fun of Halloween and the tradition of Thanksgiving rests the quiet, sober day of remembrance that often unfortunately glides by unnoticed in the busy season of autumn. It's Veteran's Day, a time to remember and cherish the extraordinary sacrifices made by our military.

Miracles occur all over the world, where American service personnel work to promote freedom and protect the United States and its allies. Miracles occur, we just don't often hear of them. Here's the story of Jack Tueller.

Jack Tueller was a World War II pilot. One fateful night, shortly after D-Day, Jack and his men had been warned about a lone German sniper targeting American troops near their location in Normandy. To the astonishment of his fellow soldiers, Jack decided the best way to disarm the sniper was by playing his trumpet! It was a risk. Jack would be an obvious target while playing music loudly in the middle of the night, but he was confident that his music would defuse the German soldier.

In a later interview about the event, Jack said, "I thought to myself that German Sniper is as lonely and scared as I am, how can I stop him from firing. So I played the German love song, Lilly Marlene, made famous in the late 30's by Marlene Dietrich, the famous German actress. I wailed that trumpet over those apple orchards of Normandy, and he didn't fire."

The next morning the military police captured a German soldier that kept asking who was playing the trumpet the night before. Jack grabbed his trumpet and went down to the beach. There was a 19 year old German, scared and lonesome. He was dressed like a French peasant to cloak his role as a sniper. crying he said, "I couldn't fire because I thought of my fianc, of my mother and father." He stuck out his hand, and Jack shook the hand of the enemy. He was no enemy because music had soothed the savage beast.



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