(KMSP) - The playing of taps is something we expect to hear at a veteran's funeral. In fact, it's their right.
But the difficulty in finding enough people to play taps sometimes leads to a recording of the music being played instead of a live version.
Now, a very well known local radio host Dave Ryan is bringing attention to the issue by grabbing his trumpet and becoming a volunteer.
The 24-note song is the ceremonial good-bye, and in recent years, it's been tough to find enough volunteers to perform that duty at funerals.
“My dad was a WWII veteran. If there's anything I can do to honor veterans, I'd be happy to do it."
You probably know Ryan from his popular morning show on KDWB. But, he can also play taps on the trumpet. Understanding the need, he decided to audition with an organization called Bugles Across America to play at funerals. And, he got the green light.
Ryan’s rather, an Air Force veteran, was a navigator on B-24 liberators during WWII, and he was the person who encouraged Ryan to play taps in the first place.
“My dad told me if I learned to play taps, he'd buy me an official Boy Scout bugle. I worked really hard to hit that high note and once I hit that note, he bought me the bugle and I've played it many times since then," Ryan said.
That was in the 1970s, and now the story comes full circle.
“Oh, I'm sure I will be nervous,” he said. “That's a big deal. They tell us you don't have to be perfect every time. You gotta play it well most of the time. We all have to remember it's not about us. It's about the veteran and their family."
If you're interested in auditioning for Bugles Across America click here.