Don Molnar

Mike Faught, left, of the Mahomet American Legion presents bugler Don Molnar with an award for his service on Sept. 5.

MAHOMET — In a time when many military ceremonies, from Memorial Day to veterans’ funerals, feature taps played electronically on a speaker, events led by the American Legion in Mahomet offer the real thing.

And Legion members offered a salute last week to the man who makes that possible.

Don Molnar of Champaign, a former Mahomet resident, received a plaque on Thursday, Sept. 5, from the Legion in recognition of him playing taps live at events such as Memorial Day services.

The musician is glad to lend his talent.

“It’s a pleasure to me to do it,” Molnar said. “I do it just as a volunteer service, and they tell me ‘thanks’ on a regular basis.”

He’s been hitting the right notes in Mahomet to play taps since the Legion advertised in The Mahomet Citizen about 19 years ago for a musician.

“My wife noticed it,” Molnar said of the advertisement. “I did step up and volunteer to do it. I think it’s a very important thing to do.”

He has played at funerals, and is in multiple bands in Champaign. He’s had his own band for a decade.

A Springfield native, Molnar and his wife moved to Mahomet in about 1978.

“I was working at the university and we had lived in Champaign for quite a while,” he recalled. They made Mahomet their home for many years, until they moved back to Champaign in 2010. But he continues to volunteer for the Mahomet Legion.

He didn’t serve in the military himself.

“I was always either too young too old or (had) too many kids,” he said with a laugh.

“I admire so much the guys that have served and the things that they have had to bear to be able to successfully be in and return,” Molnar added. “I’m proud to be part of their activity.”