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All-Night Serenade of Taps: It's Not a Bungling Bugler

March 06, 1986|Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Va. — Nightly at 11 o'clock, a five-minute recording of taps serenades neighbors of Arlington National Cemetery--until Wednesday night, when a stuck tape player repeated taps almost to the light of dawn.

"We've been fielding calls all night from people complaining," said a military policeman at the adjacent Ft. Myer Army base.

For six hours, until the cemetery superintendent was summoned about 5 a.m., the solemn bugle music pierced the night air, keeping light sleepers awake for a mile around.

In the past, a bugler performed the nightly ritual live. In recent years, however, it has become the function of a machine, which, until last night, knew when to stop.

To stop. To stop. To stop.

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