Long ago, the US Congress decided that every veteran was entitled to two uniformed persons at his funeral. One to fold the flag provided by the government, and another to play a rendition of Taps on a CD player.
It seems a small reward for having served your country.
For one man, a Marine named Tom Day, that was not enough. He formed an organization called Bugles Across America to send a live bugler to play live Taps for the dead veteran.
This is a purely volunteer organization and when the year ends and there is a financial shortfall, Tom Day dips into his pocket and pays the difference.
Taps is a tradition in the military. It is used to close the duty day and to usher a comrade to his or her final rest.
It is a song of twenty-four mournful and haunting notes. It has words:
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.
Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
May the soldier or sailor,
On the land or the deep,
Safe in sleep.
Love, good night, Must thou go,
When the day, And the night
Need thee so?
All is well. Speedeth all
To their rest.
Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day, And the stars
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.
Thanks and praise, For our days,
‘Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.
If you have never served in the military (or if you have), you might find it gratifying to make a contribution to Bugles Across America. The donation page — scroll down to the bottom — is here:
Rest easy, America. Honor those who have served that interest, who stood watch whilst you slept peacefully, who visited violence upon our enemies, and who have now stood their final post.
God bless us all. God bless America. Send a donation to Bugles Across America.