BIRMINGHAM, AL - An Alabama bugle player serves veterans and their families in a unique way.
Gene Ramsay is director of the Alabama "Bugles Across America". He has perfected the playing of "Taps" on his bugle to ensure a solemn and proper send off for veterans who pass away.
Ramsay plays his bugle with the discipline of anyone serving in the military.
In addition to the playing of "Taps", the military also honors its veterans by providing loved ones with a folded American flag.
A Marine from Chicago started "Bugles Across America" to make sure "Taps" was performed by a live bugle player so that a veteran's burial was done with dignity.
"I unfortunately did not get to serve in the military," Ramsey said. "I tried, but I had a health condition that kept me from doing that. And this is my way of serving finally, I get that opportunity. It's our job to make sure they have a final send off."
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says by 1891, military regulations required the playing of "Taps" at all military funerals.
Today the military also plays "Taps" at memorial services and to signal the lights out command at the end of the day and when the flag is lowered.