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The man behind the music: How an Air Force veteran touched Pueblo through his trumpet

AL.pnAl Eberhardt playing trumpet
Posted at 2:21 AM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 21:56:42-04

PUEBLO — The sound of Taps playing on Memorial Day is an unmistakable sound each year at ceremonies across the country.

For on Pueblo woman, it was the man behind the music who was unforgettable.

Al Eberhardt's was a "legend" for his trumpet playing, according to many in Pueblo's music community.

The 73-year old Air Force Veteran died unexpectedly in February, after a rapid battle with sepsis.

"I don't think there is any place that we went in town. Like if we went to dinner or just to the grocery store, there was always somebody there that knew him," said Paula Eberhradt, Al's Widow.

Paula says Al had a "big personality". The two were married for 51 years and Paula says the trumpets sounded different to her at this year's Memorial Day Ceremony."

"I've heard it many times... but maybe a little more so since he's gone."

Al, who played the Taps at nearly every Memorial Day Ceremony in Pueblo each year, was scheduled to plat at the 2022 ceremony before he died.

Instead, his former-student, Philip Ortis-Gonzales played in Eberhardt's place.

"I used to call him my trumpet grandpa."

Ortis-Gonzales says Eberhardt taught him more than just trumpet skills, he taught him life lessons.

One of those life lessons included to refrain from being sad when a loved one passes away, because Eberhardt believed you would see them again at the "big gig in the sky".

Those words are engraved on Eberhardt's resting place at the Pikes Peak National Cemetery.

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