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.


 
 

 

VA expands Fry Scholarship to surviving spouses of service members who died on active duty

The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin accepting applications by mail Nov. 3, 2014, for the Fry Scholarship under newly expanded eligibility criteria to include surviving spouses. The expanded criteria for the Fry Scholarship is the latest in a series of VA actions to implement provisions of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Ryan Hallock

The long road home: Lewis-McChord honors Vietnam veterans

Army photograph by Sgt. Cody Quinn Former and current service members gather together during Vietnam Veterans Salute Day, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Oct. 9, 2014. The event was held to honor Vietnam veterans by giving ...
 
 

VA processes more than 1.3 million veteransí claims in fiscal 2014

More than 1.3 million Veterans received decisions on their Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation and pension claims in fiscal year 2014 ñ the highest number in VA’s history, surpassing last year’s record-breaking production by more than 150,000 claims. This second year of record-breaking production comes as VA continues to transform the way it provides...
 

 

Obama: Move heaven and earth to care for disabled vets

With the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation commemorates for the first time the two battles disabled veterans have fought – the battle over there and the battle at home – the battle to recover, President Barack Obama said Oct. 5 during the dedication ceremony. Congress approved the building of the memorial with...
 
 

VA wards contract for independent assessment of health care

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Oct. 1 that the MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit company that operates multiple federally funded research and development centers, has been awarded a contract to support the Independent Assessment of VA health care processes, as required by the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. MITRE Corporation will serve...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

82nd Airborne helps commemorate 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden

Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger A paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, reflects near the grave of a British paratrooper at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Sept. 14, 2014, in the Netherlands. The...
 




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>