FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Meredith Kelly
September 5, 2012 202.224.7433
SCHUMER: NEW YORK’S FALLEN HEROES WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE MILITARY FUNERALS WITH LIVE PERFORMANCE OF TAPS
Recent Reports Indicated That New York National Guard Would Be Forced to Cut Live Buglers From Military Funerals Following Significant Federal Budget Cuts
Schumer Secured Confirmation From DOD That Feared Cuts Will Not Occur, and NYNG Will Continue to Have Live Buglers at Military Funerals
Schumer: A Great Nation Honors its Fallen Heroes and Pays Them the Respect They Deserve
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the New York Military Forces Honor Guard will continue to be able to provide military funerals with live performances of Taps. Recent published reports have indicated the New York National Guard, due to federal budget cuts, would have to substitute electronic recordings for live buglers for all funerals. Schumer secured a clarification that feared budget cuts in this area would not occur for New York, and said that the New York National Guard that military funerals will continue to have live buglers.
“The families of our fallen military heroes can rest a little easier knowing that their son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father, sister or brother, will get the dignified send-off they deserve if the worst befalls them,” said Schumer. “This is a great nation and a hallmark of a great nation is treating its fallen warriors with the respect they deserve, and by preserving the live playing of Taps we have taken a step in that direction today.”
The concern arose over how much, and from what program, funds for the New York National Guard (NYNG) would be altered from FY2012 to FY2013. Contract buglers are paid for through a specific fund that Schumer confirmed will not be cut. The Department of Defense is planning on a 15 percent cut for a different program, “Active Duty for Operational Support,” that provides funding for full-time personnel to conduct funeral honors. Schumer has strongly urged DOD to reverse this planned cut, as well.
Taps is the musical performance that buglers or trumpeters play at military funerals. It is known throughout the United States as part of the military honors and it has ultimately become the signature musical farewell for members of the uniformed service and veterans. Taps serves as a patriotic tribute to the veterans’ service and sacrifice to this nation. The tradition has been in existence for 150 years. In 1862, Union General Daniel Butterfield and bugler Oliver Wilcox Norton created the musical composition of Taps following the Seven Days Battles. Taps was performed to signal the end of daily military activities.
Schumer noted that the live playing of Taps at funerals for veterans is clearly a priority among residents throughout New York State.