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How to participate in Taps Across America with CBS News

Participants prepare for Taps Across America
Taps Across America participants prepare for Memorial Day tradition 02:37

This Memorial Day, CBS News "On the Road" correspondent Steve Hartman and retired Air Force bugler Jari Villanueva of Taps for Veterans are again inviting musicians of all abilities and ages to sound Taps on their front lawns, porches, and driveways at 3 p.m. local time on Monday, May 31, for Taps Across America – a national holiday event Hartman launched last year on the CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell.


Taps is instantly recognizable as the somber 24-note bugle call played at American military funerals and ceremonies. Hartman and Villanueva hope that the nationwide event, now in its second year, will offer an opportunity to pause for a moment to pay tribute to fallen service members.

Hartman was inspired by a story he did in 2012 on Don Brittain, who sounded Taps on his balcony at sunset. Hartman thought other trumpet players could do the same. Independently, Villanueva had virtually the same idea for a Memorial Day tribute.

Musicians play "Taps" across America to honor veterans on Memorial Day 02:33

Last year's Taps Across America project drew tens of thousands of participants across the world, with many submitting their Taps performances to the CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell. You can watch some of those performances here.

Dust off your trumpet or bugle to sound the call this Memorial Day. Here's what you need to know.

Who can participate?

Anyone who can sound Taps. You can find the sheet music here. Villanueva recommends playing in the key of B flat, if possible.

When should I sound Taps?

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 31 at 3 p.m. in your local time zone.

A young boy stands with his trumpet in a photo submitted to CBS News. 

Should I record myself sounding Taps?

Yes — we plan to show some of your videos on the CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell. You can use any phone with a video camera, and hold the phone horizontally. Record the whole performance. If neighbors or friends come to listen, get a shot of them too!

How do I share my video with CBS?

Send us videos from your computer or phone via this link. You can bookmark this page for easy access on Memorial Day. Make sure to click "show metadata" after uploading your video to share information about your performance with us. If the player is under 18, we ask that you instead upload your video to social media with the hashtag #CBSTaps. We will be browsing public posts with that hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

What should I do if I hear Taps?

Traditionally, when people hear Taps, they respond by standing, facing the music and placing their hands over their hearts.

A man stands with his trombone on a mountain in a photo submitted to CBS News. 
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