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This Week At Liberty Memorial: Buglers Play 24 Powerful Notes To Mark Day's End

Creative Commons/flickr user jrussell48

John Green, a retired airline pilot, has played "Taps" since his days as a battalion bugler at the Missouri Military Academy, and later as a regimental bugler at The Citadel. 

Green is one of a handful of musicians who'll perform "Taps" each night at sunset through Saturday at Liberty Memorial in a program they're calling Taps at the Tower

"The biggest thing is to get your lips back in shape. If you don't play very much, you don't have the endurance," Green says. "I've been practicing over the course of this last year to make sure if I'm called on, I can do that."

Green says the24-note song, often performed during military funerals and flag ceremonies, dates back to the Civil War.

“But, originally, it was not for funerals or commemorative events like that," he says. "It simply meant light’s out, and that was the end of the day.”

National World War I Museum and Memorial's president and CEO Matthew Naylor developed the idea of the nightly performance of "Taps" last year. Officials say they hope to draw people to the memorial for a simple but meaningful event: marking the close of the day with the color guard and a bugle call. 

Taps at the Tower takes place at sunset (approximately 8:45 pm) each evening through Saturday, June 27. National World War I Museum and Memorial, Liberty Memorial Courtyard, 100 W. 26th Street, Kansas City, Missouri. 

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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