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Honoring fallen service members with 'Taps Across America' on Memorial Day

Last year, CBS News' Steve Hartman asked Americans to play Taps at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, it became one of the largest musical performances of all time.

Last year, when traditional Memorial Day remembrances were canceled because of the COVID pandemic, a new one began.

It was a year ago that CBS News ‘On The Road’ correspondent Steve Hartman put the appeal out for trumpet players, buglers and any other musician to play Taps at 3 p.m. It was a way to honor our fallen heroes, while keeping everyone safe during COVID. Today, it's time to do it again.

It became one of the largest musical performances of all time. Hartman said the idea actually came to him several years ago. 

“I did a story about a guy named Don Britton, in Tacoma, Washington, who at sunset every night ever night at sunset would pay Taps. It was emotional, but what struck me most and made me cry in the moment standing there was to see all the neighbors come out to stand on their balconies, stand on their porches with hands over heart, together with Don, paying tribute and remembering,” Hartman told KHOU 11 #HTownRush anchor Stephanie Simmons.

And it was that spirit that led him to start the project, which continues this year.

“I thought in that moment, wouldn’t it be great if everybody in America could feel what I was feeling right then and there and when the pandemic struck last year and Memorial Day parades and services were canceled, that’s when I thought this is the time. This is the time we’re going to start Taps across America.”

Again this year, Hartman is asking musicians around the country to play Taps Monday at 3 p.m. local time, so those who hear will stop and remember America’s fallen. 

Hartman hopes “Taps Across America'' will become a national tradition.

If you’re interested in participating in Taps across America, go to CBSNews.com/TAPS.  You can submit a video if you play.

RELATED: The true meaning of Memorial Day



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