May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Taps

This morning Monte and me went to a Memorial Day service at Evergreen Memorial Park. Our friends Ron and Carol Lewis live next door. They own the land and have had buffalo for years, now also elk and European deer, and people started asking to be buried there - thus the cemetery, for people and pets. Ron marries people and buries people - a man of many hats. He wore a long black coat and a tall top hat for the service. Geese from the lake were 'honking'. It was overcast and chilly, but the sun was peeking through the clouds by the end of the service.

Taps were played by one of the soldiers with a bugle. "Taps" became "lights out" music with the added words-
"Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky,
All is well, safety rest, God is nigh."
I remembered hearing Taps at night at Ft Hood when I was staying with Heather. It's a beautiful, haunting melody that touches tenderly deep in my soul. If you click on the above line of music you can hear "Taps".

Taps history has its tales, but it did originate during the civil war. The story told this morning was of a son from the North at school in the South, so recruited by the South. The father, in the Union Army, came upon his son's body on the battlefield. Ron told the story, saying the boy was not yet dead, but died in his Father's arms. The single bugle Taps notes were sounded at his funeral.

The Poem "In Flanders Field" was read, with the lines-
We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies,
That blood of heroes never dies.

We sang the "Star spangled Banner" with it's little known other verse-
"On the shore dimly seen throughout the mists of the deep/ Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes/ What is that which the breeze o'er the towering steep/ As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?/ Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam/ In full glory reflected now shines on the stream/ 'Tis the Star-Spangled Banner, Oh long may it wave/ O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

I like seeing large flags wave in the breeze, as did this morning's flag, catching the gleam of the peeking sun beams. I'm thankful for this Republic for which it stands. I'm grateful to all who have given their lives for freedoms we enjoy. I'm glad for calendar days like this that help us remember and not take these things for granted.

I was thinking of our son-in-law Bill in Baghdad. Hoping all is well. Knowing God is nigh and that safety rests in Him.

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