▶ Watch Video: Musicians play “Taps” across America to honor veterans on Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, CBS News “On the Road” correspondent Steve Hartman and retired Air Force bugler Jari Villanueva are again asking veterans, musicians, teachers and students 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.


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 retired United States Air Force Master Sergeant 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.

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

Last year’s Taps Across America project drew tens of thousands of participants across the world, with many submitting their Taps performances to CBS News. 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.

Should I record myself sounding Taps?

Yes — we plan to show some of your videos on “CBS Evening News.” 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?

Tag us in your video on social media with the hashtag #CBSTaps and stay tuned for more details on how to share your video with us.

What should I do if I hear Taps?

If you hear Taps being sounded, you should respond as you do for the national anthem: Stand, face the music and place your hand over your heart.

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