Soldier from Laredo performs at President Biden’s inauguration

With three inaugurations under his belt, Doctor Chris Buckley said this one was unlike the others.
Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 10:53 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - On Wednesday we told you about Congressman Henry Cuellar’s experience attending the presidential inauguration.

Well, another Laredo native had the opportunity to attend in person as well.

Sgt. 1st Class Dr. Chris Buckley is a seasoned musician, performing for three historical figures: Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Dr. Buckley played with the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets on Wednesday as President Biden was sworn into office, as he arrived to the White House and as he wrapped up the evening at the Lincoln Memorial.

”It was a long day, but it’s great to be a part of history, to serve your country, to see and hear things that you might not see or hear on TV,” he said.

The United South High School graduate plays the euphonium for the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, which he joined in 2011, and the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets.

With three inaugurations under his belt, this one was unlike the others.

”We had all sorts of precautions that we haven’t had before. There were obviously a lot less people there. Normally there are people all around us, and it’s very crowded,” Dr. Buckley said. “We also had masks, and we would keep our faces covered, and we would pull it down to play and cover it back up when we weren’t playing.”

They had to get tested for the coronavirus after each big rehearsal as well.

As for preparing mentally: ”It’s almost automatic. You memorize the music. When you see it, you go and you just do it.”

Dr. Buckley spends most days performing at funerals for veterans, soldiers and their families at the Arlington National Cemetery.

He says this means the most to him because his father was a Marine in the Korean war, and the military tune called “Taps” was played at his funeral.

While performing for presidents is a great accomplishment, Dr. Buckley says one of the most memorable moments of his career was playing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with famous Star Wars composer John Williams conducting.

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