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Teenager Receives Oklahoma Standard Award

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A Del City teenager received a big honor Monday from the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. A Del City teenager received a big honor Monday from the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A Del City teenager received a big honor Monday from the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. Katie Prior was presented with the Oklahoma Standard Award for her dedication to veterans.

She is 16 years old and has a passion for music. Katie plays the trumpet. She’s made it her mission to make sure every veteran gets an honorable send-off at their funeral with a live taps performance.

Taps is a simple melody, but often tough to play.

“It’s such an emotional 24 notes,” Katie said. 

She said the song is barely a minute long, but it creates a big impact on the family of the veterans and those attending a funeral.

Katie started playing the trumpet years ago when her great-grandfather was in hospice care. He was a World War II Army veteran.

“My family had talked about how great it would be if I could sound taps at his funeral, but he passed away before I could learn the notes,” said Katie.

She never forgot that idea. Later, Katie learned that most veterans now have an audio recording of taps played at their funeral instead of live performances. Katie wanted to change that.

“They fought for the freedom that we enjoy today so it’s up to us to honor them for that,” she said.

She started her own non-profit called Youth Trumpet and Taps Corps. In the last two years, Katie has rallied over 120 volunteers in 130 states. She and her fellow volunteers have played taps at over 250 community events and funerals.

She said for every veteran she plays taps for, she is also playing for her great-grandfather.

Katie’s goal is to have her non-profit spread to all 50 states. Most importantly, she wants to inspire other youth to pursue their passion and make a positive difference in the community.

To learn more about Katie’s organization, click here

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