▶ Watch Video: Taps Across America participants prepare for Memorial Day tradition

For the third year in a row, CBS is marking Memorial Day by inviting musicians of all abilities and ages across the country to honor our fallen soldiers by playing Taps during the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time. 

Why Taps?

Taps is instantly recognizable as the somber 24-note bugle call played at American military funerals and ceremonies. CBS Evening News “On the Road” correspondent Steve 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, so he launched Taps Across America on the CBS Evening News in 2020. Hartman and CBS hope that the annual nationwide event will continue to offer an opportunity to pause for a moment to pay tribute to fallen service members.

Last year, Taps Across America drew tens of thousands of participants across the world, with most sharing their performances to social media using the hashtag #CBSTaps. You can watch some of these past performances here.

Dust off your instrument 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. We recommend playing in the key of B flat, if possible.

When should I sound Taps?

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 at 3 p.m. in your local time zone.

Where should I play Taps?

Participants have played from a wide variety of locations – their own porches or lawns, cemeteries and monuments, mountain tops, workplaces and more. We encourage you to play wherever feels most comfortable and meaningful to you.

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, with their permission.

How do I share my video with CBS?

Share your video and reason for playing on social media using 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.