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Old 08-25-2004, 08:37 AM   #1
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This was sent to me by a friend and I thought everyone might like the following information on the History of TAPS.

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 Harris' 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. 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 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 his dead son's uniform. This wish was granted. The 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... 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 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 it along. I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before.

REMEMBER THOSE SERVING OUR COUNTRY. PRAY FOR THEIR PROTECTION AND THE FOR GOD TO BLESS THEIR FAMILIES WHILE THERE ARE PROTECTING US.
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Old 08-25-2004, 08:37 AM   #2
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This was sent to me by a friend and I thought everyone might like the following information on the History of TAPS.

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 Harris' 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. 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 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 his dead son's uniform. This wish was granted. The 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... 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 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 it along. I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before.

REMEMBER THOSE SERVING OUR COUNTRY. PRAY FOR THEIR PROTECTION AND THE FOR GOD TO BLESS THEIR FAMILIES WHILE THERE ARE PROTECTING US.
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Old 08-25-2004, 08:52 AM   #3
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The playing of "Taps" requires that all in the presence of the music stand and face the music until the last note. Gentlemen should remove their hats.

The last time I heard it played was at the dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC. (on TV).
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Old 08-25-2004, 04:51 PM   #4
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Taps affects me emotionally as much as Amazing Grace.
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Old 08-25-2004, 06:44 PM   #5
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I also cannot experience Taps and keep a dry eye. However there are many myths about it. For the true story go to the source found.....Art

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/tapsproj.htm

Here's the snopes scoop....

http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/taps.htm
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Old 08-25-2004, 09:07 PM   #6
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When I was in the Army I was assigned to the Funeral Detail in the Ft. Gordon area. We had one of the best buglers I believe , He would get to the Grave site with the rifle team and would wonder around looking for the best spot to be. You very rarely saw him, but when he played he always had a slight echo. There is nothing like it, after the 21 gun salute and we went to attention I would feel the hair at the back of my neck raise. It was like every buried soldier who ever served around was there with us.

Thanks for the story.
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Old 08-26-2004, 03:33 AM   #7
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Many years ago, my Brother-in-Law, had a record of "El Silencio" (sp) it was an Italian version of Taps that was so different and very emotional, I wish I could find a copy of it. Not only was it played by a bugler, but also several other instruments were playing along, very nice, best version I've ever heard.
Jim
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Old 09-02-2004, 09:47 AM   #8
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While in the Air Force, I was assigned to the Honor Guard at burials...I didn't know the deceased, but when those Taps started, tears started...to this day, I can't go to a military funeral and hear Taps, without tears running...

Rest troops, your fighting is over...
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Old 09-10-2004, 04:07 PM   #9
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Being new to this forum, I hate to post a negative comment on this story. As a Air Force Retiree, I like the posted story and I've known it for years, but recently received an EMail that calls it a "Myth." I'll do a paste post and just let others make their own decision on which one to believe.

http://www.usmemorialday.org/taps.html
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Old 10-11-2004, 06:07 AM   #10
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I have been to many funerals of fellow Police Officers during my career, most of whom I did not know. The one thing that touches my heart every time is the playing of "Taps". Taps to me symbolize's the ultimate sacrifice men and woman in uniform gave and continue to give for us and our Country so tht we may live in peace without fear.
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:40 PM   #11
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Way back when,,,when I was just a child in Summer Camp..we sang the first verse at the end of the day ceremonies...never knew there was another verse..
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Old 11-24-2006, 06:35 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dave Fernandez:
REMEMBER THOSE SERVING OUR COUNTRY. PRAY FOR THEIR PROTECTION AND THE FOR GOD TO BLESS THEIR FAMILIES WHILE THERE ARE PROTECTING US. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



....Still great advice and a great story about the origin of "Taps".........
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:40 AM   #13
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This was posted in the Canadian Forum. I took the liberty to change a line that would also be appropriate to our American neighbours as well. Especially at this time of year, our Sons and Daughters need to be Remembered and Given all the Love and Respect they are Due....Brad

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Posted November 24, 2006 10:31 AM
Someone sent this in an email, I thought how sad that we never think of them or pray for them as often as we should.

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.



The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So slumbered I, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Ranger, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts...
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died in Europe on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white and blue ... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother...
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our Canadian and American service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.
Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us
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Old 11-24-2006, 10:52 AM   #14
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Taps is not played just at funerals.

The US military plays taps every night at bed time as the signal to ...
"cease all smoking, turn out all unnecessary lights, cease all talking and go to bed".

On many US Navy ships, there is another bugle call that is played 5 minutes before Taps is played...

it is called "TATTOO" and is a reminder to all hands that they only have five minutes to finish their activities before "lights Out" (Taps)

Like many of you, I tend to shed a tear when taps is played at a funeral, ... But ...
I don't cry every night just because Taps is played at bed time.

For all you old sailors... yes the boatswains pipe is still the primary signaling devise used on board ship...

but the bugle became popular once again in the 1960s and is used on many "Flag Ships" as well as any of the larger ships like cruisers and aircraft carriers.

I know and can play all of the US military bugle calls on my bugle as well as all of the US Navy's pipe calls and can play them on my boatswains pipe..

For you landlubbers.. the small musical instrument used by US Navy boatswains mates is properly referred to as a "Boatswain's Pipe" or a "Boatswain's CALL".

Originally the bugle was used on all US Naval vessels all the way from back in the wooden ship days..

but with the advent of steam engines to power the ships, the bugle was hard to hear over the steam engine's noise, much less to understand which bugle call was being played..

Thus the Boatswains Pipe came to be used because of it's shrill sound that could be heard above the engine noises..

Then with the advent of the modern US Navy ship and their "Loud speaker" systems, the bugle was once again used in some instances, such as ceremonies..

There are many distinct calls for the boatswain's pipe and each call it's own meaning, just like the bugle..

Carry on,

John
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