If any of you have ever been to a
military funeral where taps were played, this comment
provides a new meaning and insight.
We in the United States have all
heard the haunting tune, "Taps". It's the song
that gives us a lump in our throats and brings tears to
our eyes. Most of us though do not know the story behind
Reportedly, it all began in 1862
during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert
Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison 's Landing in
Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of
the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain
Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who
lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was
a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to
risk his life and bring the stricken man back for
Crawling on his stomach through the
gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and
began pulling him toward his encampment. When the
Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it
was a Confederate soldier, but who had died. The Captain
lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went
numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of
the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been
studying music in the South when the war broke out.
Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the
The following morning, heartbroken,
the father asked permission of his superiors to give his
son a full military burial, despite his enemy status.
His request was only partially granted. The Captain had
asked if he could have a group of Army band members play
a funeral dirge for the funeral. The request was denied
since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect
for the father, they allowed him the services of one
The Captain chose a bugler. He asked
him to play a series of musical notes that he had found
on a piece of paper in the pocket of his son’s
uniform. This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we
now know as "Taps" ... used at military
funerals was born.
HERE ARE THESE CHERISHED WORDS:
Day is done.......
Gone the sun......
From the lakes....
From the hills....
From the sky......
All is well.......
God is nigh.......
Dims the sight....
And a star........
Gems the sky......
Falls the night...
Thanks and praise.
For our days......
Neath the sun.....
Neath the stars...
Neath the sky…....
As we go..........
This we know......
God is nigh.......
I too have felt the chills while
listening to "Taps" but I never knew there
were words to it. I now have an even deeper respect and
feel an intense sorrow remembering those lost while
serving our Nation.
“TAPS” should also serve as a
reminder of the sacrifices and courage exhibited each
day by our service men and women as they perform their
duties throughout the world.
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