More buglers needed to play 'Taps' at military funerals



Posted on May 31, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Updated Monday, May 31 at 5:48 PM

SEATTLE - The 24 notes of "Taps" brings about deep emotions.

"When you hear that music and see that flag ... that's why we were there," said Vietnam veteran Bill Coe.

It's the military signal for lights out, and is the bugle call sounded at funerals and memorial services.

It's a haunting song.

"There's a lot of pressure when playing Taps because all the troops know it. It's special to them. So you want to do it right, do it justice," said Naomi Fosket of Seattle Pacific University.

But trumpeting Taps has become a forgotten art. It's being replaced, all too often, by recordings at veteran's funerals.

In Washington state, only a third of veterans receive a live Taps performance, and state Sen. Ken Jacobsen says that's just wrong.

"It's the last ultimate tribute and I think every vets deserves Taps being played by human beings," he said.

Jacobsen is behind a drive to train and encourage more young buglers to play at veterans' funerals.

Naomi Fosket and Stephen Schale, trumpeters at Seattle Pacific University, often volunteer their musical skills at military ceremonies.

"Just being able to give it back, to be able to play Taps and honor them properly, it's just a great honor," said Schale.

The Ravenna Ale House is hosting a fundraiser called "Taps for Taps. Part of the money from their tap sales goes to train and encourage more young buglers to play Taps to honor veterans. The event runs through Tuesday.

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