Friday, August 1, 2008

The story of "Taps"

I received this from one of unsolicited email forwarders. An interesting story worth sharing.
If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps were played;
this brings out a new meaning of it.

Here is something Every American should know. Until I read this, I didn't know, but
I checked it out and it's true:

We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, 'Taps.' It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually
tears in our eyes.

But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble beginnings.
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 medical attention 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 actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.
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.. T he boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.
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 his son at the funeral. The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.

But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.
The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.

This wish was granted.

haunting melody, we now know as 'Taps' used at military funerals was born.
The words are
Day is done.
Gone the sun.
From the lakes

From the hills.
From the sky.
All is well.
Safely rest.
God is nigh.

Fading light.
Dims the sight.
And a star.

Gems the sky.

Gleaming bright.

From afar.

Drawing nigh.

Falls the night.

and praise.

For our days.

Neath the sun

Neath the stars.

Neath the sky.

As we go.

This we know.

God is nigh

too have felt the chills while listening to 'Taps' but I have never seen all
the words to the song until now. I didn't even know there was more than
one verse. I also never knew the story behind the song and I didn't know
if you had either so I thought I'd pass i t along.

now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before.

Those Lost and Harmed While Serving Their Country.

Remember Those Who Have Served and Returned; and for those presently serving in the Armed Forces.

Please don't make the sacrifices of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan worthless. If we can understand the limits of our capabilities and expectations in those countries then we can ultimately exit with honor not a post Viet Nam type defeat.

We should not forget that no "invader" from Alexander on has been able to conquer Afghanistan, and we should be happy just to install a non-theocratic government there.

Likewise to expect "American type Democracy" to work in Iraq is idiotic. Their customs and traditions are so alien to ours that we can not change them. We must learn to work and adapt to the people. Government corruption there is a way of life. Those who live in glass houses should not cast stones. This should be a good subject for an "essay" and a forum.

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