Organization recruits volunteers to play 24 notes honoring veterans

Bugles Across America buglers honor veterans by playing taps
Organization recruits volunteers to play 24 notes honoring veterans

A tradition that started as a result of legislation passed by Congress has turned into a program dedicated to providing the honor due to veterans when they pass away.

Bugles Across America was founded in 2000 after Congress passed legislation guaranteeing veterans the right to at least two uniformed members of the military to fold the flag and play taps at funerals.

When there were not enough buglers available to play taps, it was played on a CD player.

The founder of Bugles Across America, Tom Day, set out to change that by providing veterans with the honor he believed they deserved. In the years since, Day has recruited more than 7,000 volunteer buglers who play taps at veterans’ funerals.

“It is worth it. It is worth it every time I put on the uniform and come out to play taps again because to me it is a memory, a memory of the lost loved one, it is a memory of a soldier, a fallen soldier who served his country with honor and dignity,” said Dale Kline, a volunteer bugler from Madison.

Kline has been volunteering to play taps at veterans’ funerals in Wisconsin for the last two years.

“The 24 notes of taps are probably the most solemn notes anybody will ever hear,” Kline said.

Bugles Across America now has volunteer buglers in all 50 states and a growing number overseas. The growth of the organization is necessary to meet the demand.

The Department of Veterans Affairs expects more than 500,000 veterans to pass away every year for the next seven years. Because of that, Bugles Across America is continuing the recruiting effort.