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"Taps Across America": Tens of thousands of musicians to unite on Memorial Day

Musicians gear up for "Taps Across America' on Memorial Day
Musicians gear up for "Taps Across America' on Memorial Day 02:09

With Memorial Day just around the corner, tens of thousands of musicians are gearing up to play in one of the largest musical performances of all time - "Taps Across America." On Monday, at 3:00 p.m. sharp, they'll play "Taps" to remember America's fallen.

Doug Neralich was drafted into the Vietnam War as an Army medic. He was not able to save all the service members he served alongside. "I think there is an additional layer of trauma and meaning when you lose somebody who you knew as a friend, as a comrade," he says.

On Memorial Day last year and the year before, at 3:00 p.m., Neralich went into his yard to play "Taps." The notes from his trombone drifting through his New Jersey neighborhood. He'll do it again this year, joining a growing number of musicians participating in this new national tradition.

CBS's Steve Hartman teamed up with retired Air Force bugler Jari Villanueva to launch "Taps Across America" in 2020. "We were just looking for a way to commemorate the holiday right in the depths of the pandemic, when parades were canceled. And the fact that this is now happening tens of thousands of times over, from the tallest mountains to the beaches, people are pausing for those 24 notes to commemorate what the holiday is really all about," Hartman says.

Any musician can participate, and everyone is encouraged to step outside to listen and reflect. "I want this ultimately to be inescapable," Hartman says.

Neralich says he feels duty-bound to play and share with his neighbors. "It's a way of honoring those that made that sacrifice."

Steve Hartman is asking buglers, trumpeters and really anyone to join, playing taps at 3:00 p.m. sharp local time on Memorial Day. If you know anyone participating in the Boston area, email us to let us know at

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