Bugler plays taps 1,000th time at National World War I Memorial

Published: 17 June 2024

By Beth Brown
via the American Military News website

American Military News image

Airman 1st Class Brittany White, of the Eglin Honor Guard, holds her bugle prior to a military funeral performance at the honor guard graduation at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

“Taps” is an American military tradition that pre-dates the Civil War. While it was begun as a simple “lights out” call to soldiers and sailors, Captain John C. Tidball started the tradition of playing the tune at military funerals.

When Tidball was not permitted to fire several rifles three times at the funeral of a member of his battery, he chose to play “Taps” at his gravesite in honor of his sacrifice to duty.

“Taps” became a wide-spread military funeral tradition by 1891. Today, through the work of the Doughboy Foundation, “Taps” is sounded at the National World War I Memorial in honor of the nation’s heroes at 5 p.m. each day.

According to Stars and Stripes, Jari Villanueva, director of the Doughboy Foundation and Air Force Veteran, feels “Taps” has become a universal language to every soldier.

This President’s Day, the “Taps” ceremony had additional significance. The Doughboy Foundation recognized the 1,000th time “Taps” was performed since the memorial’s opening three years ago.

Kevin Paul, an active-duty trumpeter and senior musician with the Army Band in Washington, was the guest bugler. Paul has performed at Arlington National Cemetery, the White House, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In addition to his duties, he serves as operation manager for the Doughboy Foundation.

According to a Facebook post by the foundation, the 1,000th “Taps” honored not only every soldier, but also Clarence Clarke, Bugler, Co. D, 15th New York National Guard Infantry. Clarke served multiple enlistments, giving 18 years of his life in total to service. By tradition, an individual veteran is also honored daily when “Taps” is played.

The World War I Memorial, located in Washington, D.C., opened in April of 2021 to honor the 4.7 million Americans who served in WWI and the 116,516 casualties among them. Designed by Joseph Weishaar, the memorial was built to incorporate the existing Gen. John J. Pershing Memorial.

Read the entire article on the American Military News website here:

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