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Friday, July 2, 2010

Like music to the dancer

Seven years ago today, Travis John Bradach-Nall of Portland was killed by a cluster bomb while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq. Of course, his family has never been the same since. But beyond feeling the ache of losing such a bright young star, his mother and uncle, Lynn and John Bradach, were transformed by his death into tireless activists for peace.

John writes:

Lynn is organizing a "Travis Drums" event in Portland, as part of an August 1 worldwide drum event to bring attention to the effective date of the Convention on Cluster Munitions for those countries which have ratified it. More information on the international drum event is available here. This drum symbol and demonstration has special force for us. Travis was a drummer. He was in the Grant High School Band and marched with them in Portland’s Starlight Parade. He was happiest pounding on a drum set. Several of his Grant band buddies accompanied the bagpiper with drum cadence as Travis’s flag-draped casket was carried by the Marine honor guard into and out of the funeral at our All Saints Church.

Travis’s ashes went into a drum, then into the casket. Below is photo of his snare drum, awaiting that service in my front hall, with his personal copy of Ghostbusters. That also went into the drum, with a package of frosted Grandma’s oatmeal cookies (Travis’ favorite when he visited Aunt Cathy in our kitchen).

Lynn is looking for ways to stir up drummers for an event in Portland on the waterfront, on August 1. She wants all kinds of drums and drummers. She is particularly interested in finding someone who is capable of organizing drummers into a cognizable concert, after the initial cadence with the bagpipes in memory of Travis.

If you or someone you know might be interested in participating in this event, Travis's uncle and namesake, John, can be reached here.

Comments (3)

I didn't know Travis well, but he graduated the same year I did from Grant High School. Our ten-year class reunion was this past weekend. How incredibly sad that he couldn't be a part of it.

Jack, please remind us again with updated details before the event. Thanks for the post.

When this all started there was a notice in the paper from a family inviting people to one of the soldier's funerals and I imagined how wrong it would be if the church wasn't packed.
It was packed but I ended up going to 3 of them and one of them was Travis. One thing that hits you is that they were so young the pictures and videos are often from high school or as little kids. They simply didn't have enough time to generate a lot of pictures as adults.
Back then, I didn't know the impact Travis would have in death. I'm sure you've heard about the song Steve and his wife - then owners at Artichoke - came up with. Plus the great work Travis's Mom has done. By the way, she looked way too young at that funeral to be going through this, too.

I just hope we remember all of them. My 3 are Brandon Scott Tobler, Born 5-17-83, Died 3-22-03. Travis John Bradach-Nall, Born 2-9-82, Died 7-1-03, and
Bob William Roberts, Born 4-19-74, Died 5-17-04.

Bob was killed on May 17th, 2004 which would have been Brandon's 21st birthday.

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