LYNN NEARY, host:
At the age of 92, World War II veteran Albert Madden of Hyannis, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest buglers to play "Taps" at Arlington National Cemetery.
Reporter Bradley Campbell brings us his story
(Soundbite of a trumpet)
Mr. ALBERT MADDEN (Army Veteran-Bugler): "Taps" is a very, very emotional call. When you play it at a funeral, you see the people break down and cry. You got to - all you can do to hold back your own. 'Cause, after all, you're big, you're strong, you're in the Army. You know, you're a powerful person. You're a powerful person and you're saying goodbye. You're saying goodbye to a hero.
My father was a veteran of World War I. Well, then my father was in the VA Hospital and he was dying of cancer of the lungs - a heavy smoker. Well, I went to go to see him every day while he was in the VA Hospital. And my father said to me: Buddy, if I go, will you play "Taps" for me? I said yes.
My father passed away on the 6th of August in 1982. And we were in the mausoleum, a big mausoleum. And the whole family is standing at his casket here. And I'm in uniform. The firing squad: ding, ding, ding. They fired the 21-gun salute. I played "Taps."
(Soundbite of music, "Taps")
Mr. MADDEN: The most difficult "Taps" I've ever played in my life.
NEARY: Albert Madden will play Taps today at the Massachusetts National Cemetery on Cape Cod. It will mark the 84th time he'll play the bugle call for a ceremony in honor of Veterans Day.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.