Monday, May 26, 2014
Today I am grateful for TAPS. On Memorial Day it is difficult for me to choose how to honor those who serve in the military and their families who wait. While I am grateful for their sacrifices, today I decided on TAPS.
I doubt there is a person in America who cannot hum this tune. I also doubt there is ever a dry eye nearby when it is heard, whether on tape or by a proper bugler, which is the best way. At sleep-over camp, as a young brownie and Girl Scout, we sang TAPS around the flag every night as it was lowered and folded. It was a quiet, peaceful moment in an otherwise chaotic day.
TAPS was played at my dad’s funeral and my brother-in-law, Roger’s. Flags are folded and handed to next-of-kin in a ceremony of appreciation, dedication and dignity, which is almost unbearable to watch. Most recently an amazing soldier played it on an actual honest-to-God bugle at Wally’s funeral. I had held it together until then. . .until TAPS.
The melody of TAPS holds the sound of sadness and hope; of despair and joy; of war and peace. I am grateful for all who have served, all who will serve, and those left behind to worry and wonder. I’d rather hear TAPS played as the end-of-day tribute than at a funeral any day. But whenever it is played, you can be sure I’ll be bawling. . .along with everyone else.