Teenager Honors Veterans Through Music

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Jay Souweine

Jay Souweine, 13, is the Massachusetts state coordinator for Echo Taps, a global effort to have "Taps" played simultaneously throughout the world on May 19 to honor veterans on Armed Forces Day. Courtesy of Janice Souweine hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Janice Souweine

Jay Souweine has made it his mission to recruit as many buglers as he can to play "Taps" in honor of veterans worldwide. He is 13 years old.

An eighth-grader from Teaticket, Massachusetts, Souweine is the state coordinator for Echo Taps.

It's a global effort to have "Taps" played simultaneously throughout the world on May 19 to honor veterans on Armed Forces Day.

Souweine taught himself to play the music at age 10 and has played at more than 100 veteran's funerals — sometimes as many as eight or nine in one day.

"Taps" became an official bugle call after the Civil War. It was originally conceived as a replacement for the end-of-day call or, "lights out," according to the Arlington National Cemetery Web site.

A more emotive and powerful "Taps" became standard at military funeral ceremonies in 1891.

Today, military honors teams do not have enough live buglers and "fake bugles" often play recordings instead, Souweine says.

He speaks with Debbie Elliott, about his passion for "Taps" and his volunteer work with Bugles Across America, an organization that finds buglers to play the age-old song live at military funerals.

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