Man sustains bugle tradition for vets' funerals

May 30, 2011 9:19:30 PM PDT
A west suburban Marine is on a mission to make sure the tradition of having a bugler play at every veteran's funeral does not fade.

Tom Day of Berwyn feared the 24 notes that make up "Taps" were endangered because the military does not have enough buglers to play at the funerals of the 1,800 veterans who die each day. The replacement: thousands of fake bugles that play a recording. That offended Day, who is a bugler himself.

"It's not real. It's not from here," Day said, pointing to his chest. So he recruited volunteers to play live.

Veteran Ed Crowbie was among those who answered the call. He played during a World War II vet's funeral at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in southwest suburban Elwood.

"It really makes me feel like I'm serving my country again," Crombie said.

Tom Day's group is called Bugles Across America. Over the past 10 years, it has grown to 7,000 volunteers. The buglers perform at 3,000 funerals every month. Day says it is his gift to the families.

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