This is the first newsletter for the EchoTaps Worldwide project
Accomplishments from EchoTaps 2005
For those who participated, supported, or followed the 2005 EchoTaps
project, you probably had a huge feeling of pride and accomplishment.
Your efforts and contributions went far beyond the physical effort required
to connect two national cemeteries 42 miles apart with a line of nearly 700
brass players. You made our veterans aware that their contributions to
protect our rights and freedoms continue to be appreciated long after their
military journey has ended. Additionally, you helped raise awareness of our
National Cemeteries and the Department of Veterans Affairs, increased the
number of new buglers that now provide live Taps for deceased veterans,
and just for fun established a Guinness World Record for the largest Bugle
When this project was started, it was hard to imagine where it would go,
how it would end, or what the lasting impact would be. What I can tell you
is that at the end of the day in May 2005 this was a project that far exceeded
the expectations of the EchoTaps organization team, and for that we are very
grateful to all.
So now what?
When you work on a project like this, you never know who is listening or
watching. In this case it happened to be Acting Deputy Under Secretary for
Memorial Affairs Richard Wannemacher. As a guest speaker at the
EchoTaps closing ceremony, Mr. Wannemacher was so moved by the
performance of the buglers that he decided to champion an effort to make
this project a global event in 2007, EchoTaps Worldwide. The scope of the
project will include the playing of Taps, in a cascading fashion, at all
National Cemeteries and many State Veterans Cemeteries. Performances
will also take place at American Battle Monument Commission cemeteries
around the world.
Currently there are weekly conference calls involving Mr. Wannemacher
and his staff, Tom Day (Bugles Across America) and his staff, Laura Balum
(VAVS), Betsey Hearn (State Cemetery Grants Program), and the EchoTaps
organizers. These conference calls are intended to build a plan and
infrastructure which will enable us to perform an EchoTaps tribute to our
The first step is to build a method where brass players and volunteers can
register to be part of this event. Currently there are three locations that
people can register. www.echotaps.org, www.buglesacrossamerica.org,
www1.va.gov/volunteer/spotlight.html. Some of the kinks are still being
worked out as the old EchoTaps website is getting a face lift. If something
doesn’t work yet, please try again later.
The second step is to perform a small trial run, or dress rehearsal, so the
cemetery directors can get a sense of what is involved with the registration
and performance process. November 11, 2006, Veterans Day, has been
selected for this purpose. This will be a relatively small event with only 20
to 30 brass players at each cemetery. The cascading bugle calls will simply
be attached to the bugler playing Taps as part of the normal Veterans Day
ceremony at national and state veteran cemeteries participating.
Third will be the registration of brass players and volunteers for the big
event on May 19, 2007. Brass player of all ages are asked to perform at the
cemetery of their choice. The only requirement is the ability to play a live
rendition of Taps on a brass instrument. Details for both brass players and
non-musical volunteers will be provided through the listed websites.
For those wishing to experience the 2005 EchoTaps event, photos, video,
radio and television clips are accessible simply by clicking ‘View
Event’ on the EchoTaps website. Additionally, the 42-minute, made for
television documentary, is expected for an October release. Final interviews
are taking place and editing is in progress. Copies will be available for
purchase through the EchoTaps website for $20.