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Day Is Done

May 29, 2013 - Jane Whitmore
“Did you know there are words to ‘Taps’?” The question was posed after Memorial Day service at the VFW Hall on Monday. Yes, I do know there are words to Taps. Do I know the words??Somewhere in the far reaches of my brain, yes. As Girl Scouts, we used to sing Taps at day’s end. Now, I have to refer to my friends at Wikipedia to refresh those words in my memory: Day is done, gone the sun From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky All is well, safely rest God is nigh. That’s as much as we sang, with our Girl Scout salute. But there is more: Fading light dims the sight And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright From afar, drawing near Falls the night. Thanks and praise for our days Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky As we go, this we know God is nigh. According to Wikipedia, those are the orignal set of lyrics meant to accompany the music, written by Horace Lorenzo Trim. Here is their definition: “Taps”?is a musical piece sounded at dusk, and at funerals, particularly by the U.S. military. It is sounded during flag ceremonies and funerals, generally on bugle or trumpet, and often at Boy Scout, Girl Scout and girl Guide meetings and camps. Wikipedia’s etymology states: The term originates from the Dutch term taptoe, meaning “close the (beer) taps (and send the troops back to camp)”. The history and accompanying legends of “Taps” are varied and interesting. The music itself has a somewhat haunting quality, and I probably feel that way because we generally hear the music at somber occasions. “Taps” and Echo “Taps” at a cemetery sends chills... There was a quartet of trumpeters at the VFW Hall to provide music for the indoor Memorial Day service. Emmetsburg High School students Michael Woodruff and Doug Vesey played with Middle School Band instructor Dave Ballman and High School Band instructor Aaron Phillips. A lot of music came out of those four trumpets. And “Taps” was played by Michael Woodruff, with Aaron Phillips playing the Echo from the back of the hall. Great job! It’s been a few years since Memorial Day services have been held indoors. The VFW Post Home is a great place to retreat. The Ladies Auxiliary had coffee ready and then served hotdogs after the ceremony. Thanks to VFW and Auxiliary members for taking us in because of rainy weather. We appreciate the service of our veterans as we honor those who made the sacrifice.


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