Taps played for the 1000th consecutive day at National WWI Memorial in DC

Published: 8 March 2024

By Jay Korff
via the WJLA 7News TV station (VA) website

Kevin Paul plays bugle

Kevin Paul playing Taps at the National WW1 Memorial at 1400 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington DC. (Photo by Jay Korff/7News)

Reporter’s Notebook: Every day a bugler plays Taps at the National World War 1 Memorial in Washington, D.C. at exactly 5 p.m. In February, they reached a remarkable milestone thanks to a non-profit called the Doughboy Foundation. Feb.19 marked the 1000th consecutive day a bugler played that call, with 24 notes dedicated to those who serve and sacrifice.

Coursing through Washington, D.C.’s historic avenues and arteries reside the marbled icons of a proud nation.

“There are so many wonderful monuments. You could almost call this the Monumental City,” said Jari Villanueva, the Executive Director of the Doughboy Foundation.

From towering figures who pulled us from the brink to memorials awash in sorrow, the nation’s capital teems with tributes.

“We stand on the shoulders of giants and the people that came before us who served in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea,” said Kevin Paul, the Operation’s Manager with the Doughboy Foundation.

But there’s only one place in America, just blocks off the National Mall, where every single day we commemorate the veterans past and present with a famed call.

“This is the National World War I Memorial. It officially opened in April of 2021,” added Villanueva.

“The bravery that these individuals have had, it’s so important and very inspiring and it’s such an honor to play for them,” said bugler Sgt. Christopher Watkins.

To honor the fallen, musicians like Sgt. Watkins play Taps at the close of the day.

 “It has become our national call of farewell,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva runs the Doughboy Foundation — the non-profit coordinating this program.

“Each day at 5 p.m. there’s a unique ceremony that happens here at the Memorial; a bugler dressed in a World War I uniform sounds the 24 notes of Taps,” said Villanueva.

“As musicians, many times we play for an audience to receive applause but Taps is the one time where, in a sense, you’re actually applauding the person who has given the ultimate sacrifice. So, it’s short and sweet but very honorable,” Watkins added.

“Every Taps here is live streamed on the YouTube channel. So, after I salute the Memorial, I face the livestream camera and then I’m saluting the livestream then I walk off,” Watkins added, in terms of the protocol each bugler goes through.

“It was very touching, very emotional. It connects. I’ve had people who have passed, who have died. So, Taps is extremely important. Thank you for being out here every night,” Veteran David Somers told bugler Watkins one night after watching him play Taps.

The Doughboy Foundation has recorded every single performance. They haven’t missed a day since starting this call of gratitude in May of 2021.

Read the entire article on the 7News web site here:

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