Business Owners, Aviation Museum Team Up To Raise $30,000 Needed

CALVERTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — When you go to a military funeral at Calverton National Cemetery or Pinelawn National Cemetery on Long Island, you expect to hear “Taps” performed live.

However, with federal funding being cut, they may have to switch to a recording as opposed to a live tribute.

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A group of business owners, along with the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale, have teamed up to set up a fund to keep Taps live.

“When you take away the human element and basically turn it into a recording what you’re doing is dehumanizing and taking away the last drop of respect this country can give its veterans,” said Jeff Clyman, president of the American Airpower Museum.

“I think the sacrifice of those who served, in the past, and those who are presently serving for our country, is monumental,” said Jim Pratt, a construction company owner. “I don’t think anybody can make any bigger effort, or any bigger sacrifice.”

He said Taps is a respectful and appropriate way to say goodbye to our military men and women.

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“It’s the final salute to someone who sacrificed for their country, whether it was in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, or Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said.

Pratt said the total amount needed will be about $30,000 per year.

Michael Polimeni, a real estate developer, says he is happy to donate.

“Cutting the budget this way is simply unacceptable,” Polimeni told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

Right now, across New York State, many services already use pre-recorded versions of Taps.

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