New York (WCBS) - For 150 years a grateful nation has honored veterans with the stirring sound of Taps. But now Taps is a victim of the budget ax.
The National Guard has lost a quarter of its funding so starting October first the New York branch of the guard says the funerals it serves will no longer have buglers. Instead of the real thing ceremonial bugles will trumpet the notes electronically.
But virtual taps is no way to honor people who have given so much according to this Korean War hero.
"Certainly everybody who has served this country and was awarded a purple heart and managed to stay alive to receive it, they deserve that."
On long island there's an effort to save taps. American Airpower Museum officials and philanthropists say if government doesn't fund it they will.
"This is the final honor we can give to them and the fact that this is on the cutting block is unacceptable."
But even if the live bugle is saved here on long island, veterans' groups worry about what will happen across the state and nation. With budget cuts and so much staff deployed overseas- some military funerals may have no honor guard at all.
A spokesman for the New York National Guard says by cutting out live buglers they will be able to send a live soldier to every military funeral. Taps will be played on the electronic trumpet, he said, and at least not on a boom box.
The total amount needed to save the live "Taps" will be about $30,000 per year.
Right now across New York State, many services already use pre-recorded versions of "Taps".
CBS New York (WCBS)