Mesa, Ariz. - The sound of percussion fills the Mesa air during the Drums Across the Desert event. More than 30,000 fans, musicians and organizers are on hand, but most are thinking about the one band not in attendance.
"These people are our friends, and we need to do everything we can to embrace them," says Executive Director of Drum Corps International Dan Acheson.
Acheson is talking about the members of Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. A bus carrying 13 members of the staff and other volunteers rolled over on Interstate 10 on it's way to Arizona. The driver of the bus, Donna M Howard, was ejected from the vehicle and died on scene.
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"The outpouring of love for the Phantom Regiment from fans all across the world, literally has been nothing short of amazing," Acheson says.
Other bands played an encore to help fill the program in Phantom's absence. Eulogizing the only way they know how.