It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Did You Know That Story?

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.


Carol............. said...

You are right regarding flag etiquette....I've never thought about it in that way...thanks for posting this.

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

That is such a beautiful touching story. You'll be happy to know, I try to always show our flag the respect I was taught in public school (as stated above). That's why it is being flown upside down until our fascist government is gone.
Hope your day is a happy one! The sun finally came out and we're happy campers. :o)

Kathleen from Eggs In My Pocket said...

Oh, this touched my heart. I love your words on this. It upsets me to see other people in other countries burning our flag. I once saw a young man who was wearing either boxers or shorts that looked lik our flag. Have a wonderful day! blessings,Kathleen

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

honey i respectfully disagree with you on the flag etiquette. here is the ruling as i find it:

Flag Etiquette

The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

* The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
* The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
* The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
* The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
* The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
* The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.


so i don't see anything about not wearing a flag on your shirt or something like that if it is not a costume. your thoughts???

smiles, bee

Daisy said...

Hearing Taps played always moves me. I have heard the story behind it before so I guess that is why the song affects me the way it does. Happy Memorial Day, Lanny. :)

Kendrawolf said...

Thank you for the reminders!

KathyB. said...

Taps, played at my fathers' funeral by an Army color guard, one of the saddest days of my life. Taps, to hear them causes emotion I cannot fully describe...but the sound brings tears to my eyes and a heavy heart.

My Father , and many others, who served in our country's armed forces, did not die in battle, but was wounded and did eventually die form health problems that resulted from his service.

I have found myself dumbfounded by the many people I personally know who take our country's freedoms and benefits for granted while mocking and shaming the very country that gave them these privileges...and have sought opportunity to burn the flag just for the fun of making people upset, for the sheer rebellion against ...what?

Oh well, enough of this maudlin musing. Thanks to the many who gave themselves to the service of an ideal bigger than themselves, for their families, homes, country..and for others around the world.

Reader Wil said...

This is a very moving story, which shows how useless any war is. During the war we were not allowed to possess a Dutch flag( Three stripes: red on top, then white and the bottom one is blue) in the Japanese concentration camp. My mum made skirts from that flag. We were three daughters, so each of us took one colour. Thanks for the story! And your visit.The Jap never realized that we represented the Dutch flag.

Kanani said...

Hmmmm..... we fly the flag. I have buntings too. Must get those up.
As for a shirt with a few stripes, and a star, I think that's okay.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, every Sunday when "This Week with George Stephanopolous" goes through who died in the military, it's only natural to shed a tear or two.

Shellmo said...

That story was heartwrenching about the father and son - I never knew that and now I'm glad you shared it. Also thank you for the flag etiquette - I have a neighbor I am going to "anonymously" share this with.

Far Side of Fifty said...

No I did not know the story of Taps, but I thank you for sharing it and also the Flag etiquette:)