Taps has always been a favorite of mine. I suppose it comes from many years in Bluebirds and Campfire Girls then years as a Girl Scout leader and camp counselor. Even as a little bluebird we sang it at the end of every meeting, and what camp would be complete without taking down the flag in the beautiful light of dusk to the sound of taps being sung by a strong group of girls dirty with trail dust, fish slime, and campfire ash, but happy and satisfied?
So those of us here at Vicktory Farms will be joining in the Moment of Remembrance at three o'clock. But at nine thirty we will sing taps as we retire the colors for the day.
In 1862 Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was near Harrison's Landing, Virgina. In the evening he heard the moanings of a soldier, so he personally went out into the gunfire on his belly and dragged the wounded young man back to his encampment. When he reached safety he then realized that the soldier who had died was a Confederate soldier, but when he looked at the face he recognized it as the face of his own son whom, as far as he knew, was studying music in the South.
He tried to get a full military burial for his son but because the son was of enemy status the father's request was granted only partial. He was only allowed one bugler and in need of music, the father handed the bugler a scrap of paper from his own son's pocket with a few song notes scratched upon it. Those song notes? The notes of Taps.
That my Dear Reader is the hardship of war; the high price of civil freedom, preservation of unity, and relief of the oppressed.
When you are being patriotic today, please remember some flag etiquette. In a nut shell the flag should not be shown disrespect by touching the ground, being held or flown inappropriately. It nor a facsimile of it should be worn as clothing or carried as a bag. The likeness of a flag should not be used as advertisement, or on napkins, paper plates or such as would be discarded after temporary use.
I find it amazing how many times the flag code is blatantly broken, not just at protests and by unpatriotic citizens but by those who claim to be intense lovers of what the flag stands for. I'm not talking about the hard to remember details like does the union go to the right or the left when hung on a wall, but the stuff that is obvious like clothing, napkins, tablecloths and the like printed to look like the flag. Drove my dad nuts and it drives me nuts, that in our efforts to be ultra-patriotic we end up actually making a mockery of the flag and its beauty. And then by doing so, sully the memory of those who have fought and died beneath its grand colors.