Special Taps Ceremony Friday at Meadowlands
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While there is excitement at the Meadowlands Racetrack for the return of live harness racing this Friday, June 5, there is also a sense of loss due to the passing of a number of horsemen and women from covid-19.
To honor the lives lost, 13-year-old Boy Scout, Alex Saldana will play Taps from the Meadowlands' back paddock following Race 2. All drivers in attendance will be asked to form a horseshoe behind Saldana, with proper social distancing, for the 38-second ceremony.
“When we learned of Alex Saldana’s story we wanted to invite him out to the track,” said Jason Settlemoir, COO & GM of the Meadowlands. “He is an extraordinary young man and his playing is a fitting tribute to those we have lost within the industry and our country.”
Alex, an 8th grader from Oradell, N.J., has been in the news lately for playing Taps outside the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home every night to honor those veterans that have died amid the COVID pandemic. Alex’s story has been featured on NJ.com, WABC, and USA Today among others.
Alex has been playing the trumpet since fourth grade and serves as the bugler for Boy Scout Troop 36, playing Taps at every meeting. Alex's father, David, is a detective in the Bergen County Sheriff's Office and a veteran of the Marine Corps. He will also be joined by his mother Melissa Saldana. (Meadowlands)