‘Taps’ tribute stirs some community members in Glen Rock, inspires others

GLEN ROCK, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- A naval lieutenant commander plays a recording of the military tune 'Taps' every night at his home in Glen Rock, and his actions were set to be discussed at a Glen Rock council meeting because not everyone is a fan of the performance.

Then, this afternoon, it was pulled from the agenda for what the council president calls "a safety concern".

Joshua Corney says he's been in the navy for about 20 years. He installed a loud speaker on his property to play a 57 second recording of 'Taps' each night at 8 p.m. to honor current and fallen service members.

"I decided that throughout my deployments overseas that I would come back home, here in Glen Rock, and pay tribute to service members that have either lost their lives or just served through our military," said Corney.

You can hear 'Taps'  coming from Corney's speaker system at his home on Glen Avenue in Glen Rock.

Neighbors, Sidney "Sid" McWilliams and her husband Charles Albert "Chas", listen from their door every night at 8 p.m. Chas has Alzheimers disease and says the tune is a reminder of his time when he served in the navy.

"I was in the navy for 4 years, and we had 'Taps' every night at 8 o'clock so it means a good deal to me because of that experience I had in life," said Chas.

In the neighborhood, walking door to door, it was hard to find a neighbor without a connection to the military - a main reason Joan Fox, who lives down the road, supports the song.

"I truly, really do enjoy hearing it. Number one, it tells me it's 8 o'clock at night and number 2, my husband was career military. He spent 36 years with the army moving around the world, and it's just kinda of part of my traditional on-base life. It's natural for me to hear it," said Fox.

There might be an issue though. It's unclear if Corney's tribute violates a Glen Rock Borough ordinance which prohibits loud music which could annoy neighbors. Corney sits on borough council where it was to be discussed.

"A whirlwind on social media about taps," said council president, Doug Young. "It's not going to be on the agenda."

Young says the topic was pulled for safety concerns for those who oppose the performance.

Victoria Ribeiro, another council member, sent FOX43 this statement - in part - on behalf of those neighbors: "Because of the huge, largely negative reaction they witnessed, and because of the backlash directed at me for representing them, they are horrified and want nothing more than for this all to stop. They genuinely fear they will be labeled as the un-american, bitter troublemakers that started a feud with their neighbors - and that's unfair. They don't want to be 'those people who killed taps in Glen Rock.'"

With tears in his eyes, Corney says he won't give up.

"I made a promise to God that if he brought me home safely to my family that I would do something in remembrance of those that have died specifically and those that continue to serve," said Corney.

Young says the issue is not settled yet, just no word on when it will be back on the meeting agenda. Corney says he's prepared to fight the $250 per day fine he could potentially face if found to be in violation of the ordinance.