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.


 
 

 
Army photograph by JD Leipold

New webpage allows vets with PTSD to apply for discharge upgrade

Army photograph by JD Leipold The Army has created a new webpage on http://arba.army.pentagon.mil where veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder who were discharged under “other than honorable” conditions can ap...
 
 
Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds

Many living with PTSD

Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds Helping paws – Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient Phillip Waln, member of VFW Post 3000 visits with Michele and her therapy pet, Morgan, during a PTSD awareness workshop. With an es...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Christopher Gross

Airmen, families, friends remember loved ones at Arlington

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Christopher Gross Lt. Col. David Burnett lays a wreath on a tombstone during the 23rd Annual National Wreaths Across America Day Dec. 13, 2014, at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. Burnett, as...
 

 
DOD photograph by Sebastian Sciotti Jr.

Thousands gather to honor fallen veterans for Wreaths Across America Day

DOD photograph by Sebastian Sciotti Jr. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses service members and volunteers during the opening ceremony on Wreat...
 
 
Army photograph by J.D. Leipold

Arlington National Cemetery continues improvements, director testifies

Army photograph by J.D. Leipold Aerial view of a small section of Arlington National Cemetery’s 624 acres, located in Arlington, Va. In testimony on Capitol Hill, the executive director of Army National Cemeteries said as...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

America’s entry into World War II remembered 73 years later

Courtesy photograph President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Declaration of War against Japan on Dec. 8, 1941, a day after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan carried out a surprise attack...
 




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>