Veterans

May 21, 2012

Arlington ceremony honors 150th anniversary of taps

Tags:
by Jim Dresbach
Army News

Buglers from across the nation gathered at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, May 19, 2012 to honor the 150th anniversary of taps.

Intermingled with songbirds and reverent silence, 200 buglers from around the country collectively sounded America’s most recognizable bugle call May 19 at Arlington National Cemetery.

From Section 60 to the Kennedy gravesites, the 150th anniversary of the bugle call taps was commemorated at a morning tribute in the Old Amphitheater and by sounding a mid-day rendition from corner to corner of the cemetery.

“This is an enormous privilege. I am honored,” said Jay Callahan of Greensboro, N.C. who sounded the call in the vicinity of Gen. John Pershing’s grave.

Like Callahan, who wore a typical World War I-era uniform featuring leggings and wool trousers, many buglers took the opportunity to wear war-period uniforms. Male and female, young and old, active duty and veterans traveled as far as California and Washington state to fill a sun-kissed sky with the gift of taps.

Before the mass-sounding, the buglers cradled their instruments during the anniversary commemoration and listened to executive director of Arlington National Cemetery, Kathryn A. Condon who thanked the standing room-only crowd for their attendance and their devotion toward veterans and active-duty service members.

Overlooking Arlington National Cemetery and Washington, D.C., bugler George Allen of DeWitt, Mich. plays the bugle call taps in front of Arlington House May 19, 2012. Allen was part of a 200-person collective rendition of taps which was played at noon throughout the cemetery.

“On behalf of Arlington [National Cemetery] and all of the other national cemeteries, I want to thank each and every one of you today for honoring our veterans – those who are laid to rest and those who are currently serving – with your presence today,” she said during her remarks. “I want to wish happy anniversary to taps because taps is even older than Arlington.”

History has recorded that taps formally replaced a French bugle call for lights out during the Civil War and was first sounded at a military burial in July of 1862. By 1900, the bugle call was routinely being played at every military funeral.

Many stories of cemetery location choices where buglers sounded the 24 notes of taps were poignant and touching. Bugler John Teller of Middletown, Md., who was dressed in Civil War-era garb, picked the burial site of his grandfather, U.S. Navy Capt. Steadman Teller, in ANC’s section two.

Tom Day, the founder of Bugles Across America – an organization devoted to providing a live sounding of taps at every military funeral – played at President Howard Taft’s grave. Born in Illinois, Day graduated from Chicago’s Taft High School.

Bruce McKee of Martinsville, Ind., made sure he played in section 34 where his long-time Air Force buddy is buried.

“To me, [playing here] is the Holy Grail,” said McKee, who was also joined by his 19-year-old daughter, Carrie, who also played taps during the Saturday ceremonies. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Basically, this is a dream come true for a bugler to stand here and play in this place.”

Thirteen-old old middle school trumpeter Alan Tolbert of Shippensburg, Penn., played near the burial site of Johnny Clem, a Civil War Union drummer boy who became the youngest noncommissioned officer in Army history and a brigadier general.

“This is a great opportunity to honor all those who served and died in the military,” said Tolbert. “Taps is something that differs from every other bugle call.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>