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******************* *TAPS* *******************

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 this melody.

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 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 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 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 musician.

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.......

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...

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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