The Taps Project Arlington National Cemetery Visitor Center


The Kennedy Bugle
This bugle, used by Sergeant Keith C. Clark, to sound “Taps” at the funeral of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, was one of a limited lot manufactured by the Vincent Bach Corporation for the United States Army Band.  The serial number is 1962-1.  The bugle is in b-flat and was designed and built by Vincent Bach.  it is based on the 1892 US pattern bugle, except that it is pitched in a different key.  The US Army Band decided on this key to match the sound of B-flat trumpets, which are used at ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery when a bugle is not available.  Also, the thought may have been that the trumpet sound would carry farther.  Incidentally, the instrument is called a “Signal Trumpet in B-Flat.”  The Bach Corporation is correct in its definition, as the bell is more of a trumpet (cylindrical) bell than a bugle (conical) bell.  This bugle was also used for the funerals of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower before its loan to the Smithsonian in April 1973.  The bugle was placed on display in the First Ladies exhibit in the Museum of American History until it was moved to Arlington National Cemetery in the Spring of 1999.  We wish to thank the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Army Band (“Pershing's Own”) for their cooperation in the display of the Kennedy bugle.


United States Army Band Uniform

This uniform was worn by Sergeant First Class George Myers.  Sergeant Meyer's served in the United States Army Band from 1945 to 1961.  He was principal bugler for the band and sounded “Taps” at the internment of the World War II and Korean War Unknowns on May 30, 1958.  He also sounded “Taps” at the funerals of General of the Armies John J. Pershing, General of the Army George C. Marshall, General of the Air Force Henry H. “Hap” Arnold and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, among others.  Sergeant Myers is buried in Section 34 of Arlington National Cemetery, near the grave of General Pershing.
Courtesy of Mrs. George Myers.

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