Taps for Non-Military

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Solar Bell, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. dizzyizzy

    dizzyizzy Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2006
    I was never in the military, but I spent over 30 years in federal law enforcement, and when the time comes...I WANT taps. There are lots of law enforcement personnel killed, who weren't military, and they get taps and/or amazing grace. But...I figure I've served my country and "earned" both a flag and taps. I'm as proud of what I did as any Marine is of his profession, and I'm darn proud of this country, (no political statement...just the people, the place, the life we all (hopefully) enjoy). I've been in the snow, rain, crud, and all sorts of hell-holes in this country; I've been shot at and otherwise made uncomfortable, allegedly for the "nation's and public's good". And, I still do "consulting" work for the federal law enforcement, military and intelligence communities.

  2. Mellophone Man

    Mellophone Man Pianissimo User

    Mar 31, 2010
    Scottsdale AZ
    I will second your comment about the emotional aspect of sounding Taps. My own father had a funeral with full military honors in 1976, and it took me more than 30 years to get in an emotional place to where I could think about doing it for others. I am now a volunteer with Bugles Across America. I am also very active with the Patriot Guard Riders and I serve on the Advisory Committee for the Sarasota FL National Cemetery. I sounded Taps for the 91st time this morning (yeh, I keep track) for a retired USAF Colonel who was fighter pilot in Vietnam. He was recently removed from life support based on his wishes and in the presence of his family. If you are asked to perform Taps and have not had the experience before, do not underestimate what it will take to keep your emotions under control and deliver a solid performance in a situation like this. They are truly the toughest 24 notes you will ever play.

    Bob, FYI (and I hope I don't come across as sounding critical), only the President of the United States is entitled to a 21 gun funeral salute. A gun salute is performed with a howitzer or cannon, one shot at a time in sequence. The honor that is rendered at the vast majority of military funerals is three volleys, not a gun salute.

    There is a protocol for gun salutes, including funerals. The number of guns is based on their protocol rank. These salutes are always in odd numbers. For example, the Vice President of the United States, Secretary Defense, and Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy all rate 19 guns. The highest-ranking generals in the services (Commandant of the Marine Corps, Chief of Naval Operations, and the Army and Air Force Chief of Staffs) all rate 17 guns. Other 4-star generals and admirals rate 17 guns. Three-stars rate 15, two-stars rate 13, and one-stars rate 11.

    Regards, Roger Ellis
  3. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    No. But in that situation, yes.
  4. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    In your situation I would have done the same as you--that's why I don't carry a horn with me to funerals. But no one who is not a veteran of the United States Military is deserving of Taps or a flag draped coffin.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  5. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    A guy I knew quite well died recently. He served in WW2 as a Tail Gunner. He'd played in the same Brass Band for 70 years (which is where I knew him from).

    At his funeral there was no bugler. I didn't know if it wasn't asked for or something, but I figured he deserved it. When the service was over and the family had left the graveside, I got my bugle out of the car and went back and played The Last Post. It was pouring with rain and blowing a gale, first time I ever played it outdoors. Tough gig.

    What I didn't realise was that the family were in a different car park and heard every note! When I returned to my car, his brother and son were waiting to thank me.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
    Cornyandy likes this.
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Respect - well done.
  7. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    Yes, huge points for respect!;-)

    I've done funerals for two Navy vets( one a WW II Seabee), and one Army vet( tough one, he was my friend and shooting partner), and now have a standing gig for Memorial Day rites for a local AmVets post. Never can do it without emotion trying to wash over me:oops::cool:
  8. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    You, sir, are a true gentleman.
  9. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I sounded Taps for my Dad's military funeral a few years ago (WWII vet). It wasn't easy to do, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

    I was once asked to play Taps for a building that was going to be demolished. I refused, and told them in my opinion, it wasn't appropriate. I don't know if they found someone else to do it...I hope not.
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    There NOW is no official law or regulation for whom live TAPS is sounded. As such I cam only suggest that let your own heart be your guide. That said, should you sound live TAPS for other than the military, police, fire, or first responder, you may bear the consequence of ostracism/shunning in your community.

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