A trumpeter drew his horn to his lips and blew a mournful "Taps" at a funeral last week at Calverton (N.Y.) National Cemetery for an Army veteran awarded the Silver Star for a World War II raid in Italy.
Relatives of Henry J. Wheller, 96, a Smithtown lawyer who had been an Army captain, choked back tears as the stirring C major triad floated in the noontime air.
"There's something about having 'Taps' played live that instills great emotion," son-in-law David Sheehan, 53, of Hauppauge said as the mourners drifted away. "That version of 'Taps' was played just for Henry, and not for just anyone who happened to be next."
But even "Taps," which has been played at military funerals for 150 years, is not immune to budget cuts.