Leadership: October 30, 2002


The Department of Defense is obliged to provide military honors for the burial of veterans. This usually involves a small honor guard to fire a ceremonial volley of blanks over the grave and play taps. Its easy to get people to fire blanks from a rifle, but people who can play Taps on a bugle is another matter. Increasingly, taps has been played on a boom box, much to the dismay of the veterans survivors. But technology has found a solution in the form of a miniaturized digital playback mechanism that is built into a bugle. The special bugle can be brought to the musicians lips, a small button pushed, and out of the bugle comes the melody of Taps as if it were actually being played. Tests of the new bugle have been successful, meaning that no one at the funerals realized that the bugle was an electronic gadget, not a musical instrument. The Department of Defense plans to buy more of these bugles, as the number of veterans dying each year, especially World War II vets, is on the increase.


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