Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Taps" For Our War Dead

Memorial Day is the most deeply meaningful of all American holidays to me. It is impossible to celebrate Independence day without thinking of those who paid the ultimate price so that we might enjoy our way of life. To me, it is a time to thank the living who have served in our armed forces and to visit the graves of the fallen. Any celebration of Memorial Day should include reverent mention of those who have fallen.

In honour of our nation's war dead, I am presenting two videos. One is the playing of "Taps.' Taps is the hauntingly simple bugle that was composed during the Civil War first as a song to signal the end of the day and then as a song to be played at the funeral of a fallen soldier. So much did the song resonate that it was quickly adopted by the Confederate soldiers as well. In a sense, it became a symbol of the united grief of a weary nation at the end of the Civil War.

Those who remember John Kennedy's funeral remember "Taps" being played on that sad occasion. One single note was "broken." Rather than jarring the senses of a grieving nation, the "mistake" was quickly interpreted to be the instrumental equivalent of a human voice cracking in grief. To this day, when the solemn procession is recalled and replayed, that single misplaced note expressed the anguish of a nation.

For the benefit of my readers, I am including the words of "Taps". (From USmemorial

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
G-d keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
'Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
G-d is nigh. Taps History video Taps Melody

No comments: