Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day - The Story of "Taps"

Army bugler playing TapsThe 24-note bugle call known as “taps” is thought to be a revision of a French bugle signal, called “tattoo,” that notified soldiers to cease an evening’s drinking and return to their barracks or garrisons. It was sounded one hour before the bugle call that brought the military day to an end by ordering the extinguishing of fires and lights. The last five measures of the tattoo resemble the modern day "Taps."

The word “taps” is an alteration of the obsolete word “taptoo,” derived from the Dutch “taptoe.” Taptoe was the command -- “Tap toe!” -- to shut (“toe to”) the “tap” of a keg.

The first time taps was played at a military funeral may have been in Virginia soon after Butterfield composed it. Union Capt. John Tidball, head of an artillery battery, ordered it played for the burial of a cannoneer killed in action. Not wanting to reveal the battery’s position in the woods to the enemy nearby, Tidball substituted taps for the traditional three rifle volleys fired over the grave. Taps was played at the funeral of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson 10 months after it was composed. Army infantry regulations by 1891 required taps to be played at military funeral ceremonies. Taps now is played by the military at burial and memorial services and is still used to signal “lights out” at day’s end.
From the US Department of Veteran's Affairs website

Bible verse for tonight:

"No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier." 2 Timothy 2:4

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Various Runnings

It seems that summer is just about upon us. The porch is ready.... flower boxes all set out. The usual Petunias showed up but this year, I've exchanged the geraniums for portulaca. I'm hoping they will do better. A Hummingbird feeder on a tall shepherd's hook is the new addition to the deck.... I had the little birds last year on a smaller feeder, I'm sure they will be back this summer. There's a Robin's Nest right outside my dining area's window. Momma is very nervous, with all of the in and out traffic through the outer door. Neighborhood kids are a concern.... I was hoping that they did not find out about the nest, but they did. Number 3 son , C was off to Ireland a couple of weeks ago. He's back now, says he wishes he was still there. The new mandolin arrived last week. She's a beauty and inspires me. C brought me a book of Irish tunes for the mandolin from his trip. Lots to work with there - 110 tunes! Today is party day for Little Marianna - her first birthday. Daughter-in-law, Jess is her Auntie. Scattered storms today and tomorrow. No plans for Memorial Day, here.... we are all working.

Bible verse for today:
"Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few." Ecclesiastes 5:2