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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Taps Played for the First Time



 Taps Played for the First Time
Harrison's Landing Virginia, July, 1862

A sentinel paces in the moldering dank,
exercising the manual to no end
but to keep himself upright and alive --

shoulder arms,
support arms, right shoulder shift --
while midsummer insects flourish in his sweat,
creeping down and through, drawing nourishment,
then lodging in his vestments and his skin.



As his flannels ferment he contemplates
the distinction between Noxious Effluvia
and Laudable Pus.  He thinks of the grand
landscaping of the neighboring estate,
the view to the river from the Georgian hall,
down the allee through the ancient archway,
through rounded boxwood, cedar and myrtle
that lean in steel heat like sages or crones.

This night so tired he sees beyond the fire
demons dancing around Post Number One
and hears from woods beyond the songs of friends
dead only a week and too suddenly,
their bodies abandoned in White Oak Swamp
to mingle with the vapors now rising
and settling in a fog around the camp,
dulling the snores and farts of half-clad soldiers,
the tree line a shadow bringing the scent
of urine of those impatient for the sinks, the sinks
bringing worse. 


 The night becomes fuller then,
swelling as to burst like ripened corpses,
till a sweetness splits it and streams out cleanly
in piercing virtue, a sound of unfolding trinities
tracking the stages of man from freshness on
to the final ebbs, so stately and fine
though everywhere around a degradation.


The men turn to the notes with silvered eyes.
The sentinel faces about, presents his arms
to death, who brings one flower for them all.



"Courtesy of Stand Magazine, Leeds University"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day is Done The Taps 150 CD


THE TAPS CD




Please visit http://taps150.org/wp/day-is-done-the-taps150-cd/

“DAY IS DONE”
Music commemorating
the 150th anniversary of Taps
$18.00





“Day Has Done” has a variety of performances of the bugle call Taps, related bugle calls, and several orchestrations or other settings inspired by Taps. A substantial program booklet will accompany the CD. The CD contains over an hour of material. A combination of narration and program notes will introduce the selections and tell the story of the history of Taps.



The CD includes:
The Call Has Come-Holcombe/Villanueva-Michael Bogart, soloist
Tone Poem on Taps- Douglas Hedwig
Honoring Our Veterans for Brass Quintet with Band -Steven Behnke-(with Patriot Brass)
Taps for the Fallen Brave, Kevin Burns soloist
The Bugler’s Lament-Red Nichols, Jari Villanueva soloist
Taps-with orchestration, Woody English, soloist
Taps-Eternal Father, Woody English, soloist
Tenting Tonight with Taps, George Rabbai soloist
Taps, 1835 Scott Tattoo, Extinguish Lights, 1861 Tattoo
Lights Out March-McCoy
The Golden Star-Sousa
A Buglers Fantasy…MDNGHG Buglers
The Last Post/Rouse
Aux Mort
Il Silenzio
Ich Hatt’ einen Kamerden
Pahinigalay
Taps in unison (BAA Buglers)
Harmonized Taps (BAA Buglers)

PLUS!!
Taps from “Touch the Spirit” by Wayne Naus
Taps for Maynard by Walter White
Historic recording of Taps at the JFK Funeral

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Medal of Honor Recipients speak out

Medal of Honor Recipients speak out

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Night That Taps Was Played Twice

The Night That Taps Was Played Twice
A personal reminiscence, 2005

by Kenneth H. Rose
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired
Hampton, Virginia

Growing up in Wisconsin during the 1950s and 60s, I was active in the Boy Scouts. At that time, World War II was still in the not so distant past and many of the Scout dads were veterans. Over the years I encountered dads who had landed on Iwo Jima, flown B-24s over Germany, and slugged it out in the Hurtgen Forest.

During my last active years, I worked on the staff at Camp Long Lake, near Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The camp ranger, Bud Smith, had been a glider infantryman in the 17th Airborne Division during World War II. He had fought in the Ardennes and had participated in the cross-Rhine airborne assault at Wesel in March 1945. He was a wonderful man. Those who had the opportunity to work with him learned much about being a good Scout and being a good person.

Because I played the trumpet, I served as bugler during the daily flag lowering ceremonies. I also played Taps every Friday night at 10:00 p.m. after the end-of-week campfire as a signal to all Scouts that the evening festivities were over and it was time for quiet. I played Taps from the top of a hill, near the flagpole, so that most of the camp would hear.

One night in 1969, as I finished playing Taps and started toward my tent, I was startled by a movement from the shadows of the camp lodge. It was Bud Smith. He approached me and in the dim moonlight I could see that kind of crooked smile that was uniquely his.

“Geez,” he said, “That was be-oo-ti-ful.” Blinking his eyes—and not because the light was too harsh—he said quietly, “Play it again.”



So I did. I turned and faced another direction so that other parts of the camp might hear and played Taps, just for Bud. When I finished, he was no longer there. I caught a glimpse of him walking down the hill toward the ranger’s house, probably taking with him thoughts of things that he would rather not remember.

A few musical notes can have great emotional effect on people. I know that that night, with the playing of Taps, I touched Bud in some way that only music can.

He’s gone now. He died too soon some years later while I was serving in Korea. I learned of his death from a mutual friend only after I returned to the U.S. Recently, I was visiting relatives in Wisconsin not far from Bud’s hometown of Oconomowoc. I contacted his daughter—she remembered the night that Taps was played twice—and got directions to the cemetery where he is buried. I took along a Conn OD-painted WWII-era bugle and found Bud’s gravesite. I like to think we had a short chat. Then I played Taps for Bud one last time, one Scout to another, one airborne soldier to another.

This time, I was the one doing the blinking—and not because the light was too harsh.


This article appears in TAPSBUGLER

Thursday, June 10, 2010

McHugh strengthens management, oversight at Arlington National Cemetery


McHugh strengthens management, oversight at Arlington National Cemetery
Former Senators Dole, Cleland will lead independent panel

Secretary of the Army John McHugh today announced sweeping changes in the management and oversight of Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) following completion of a months-long probe by the Army’s Inspector General.

“While the Inspector General’s (IG) team found that ANC employees – under an extraordinarily high operational tempo of 27 to 30 funerals a day – performed their jobs with dedication and to a high professional standard, they also found them hampered by dysfunctional management, the lack of established policy and procedures, and an overall unhealthy organizational climate,” McHugh said. “That ends today.”

McHugh ordered the investigation following allegations of lost accountability of some graves and poor record keeping, among other issues, and released its findings at a Pentagon news conference. The investigation followed an earlier inspection and management review ordered by McHugh’s predecessor, former Army Secretary Pete Geren, which McHugh expanded shortly after taking office. Those findings were also released today.

“Both reports pointed to the lack of established policies and procedures, a failure to automate records, and long-term systemic problems,” he said.

As part of a series of corrective measures, McHugh established the newly-created position of Executive Director (ED) of the Army National Cemeteries Program, whose duties will include oversight of cemetery management, reviewing and updating policies and procedures, and implementing corrective measures outlined in the investigation and inspection reports. McHugh appointed Kathryn Condon to serve as ED, who previously served as the senior civilian for Army Materiel Command - overseeing one of the largest commands in the Army, with more than 60,000 employees in 149 locations worldwide.

Among a host of other changes and initiatives, McHugh is establishing an Army National Cemeteries Advisory Commission, which will include officials from outside the Army to regularly review policies and procedures, and provide additional guidance and support. McHugh has enlisted the services of former Senators and Army veterans Max Cleland and Bob Dole to begin that effort.

Dole represented Kansas in the Senate for three decades, and in 2007 co-chaired a commission investigating deficiencies at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In addition to serving as Senator from Georgia, Cleland is a former head of the Department of Veterans Affairs and currently serves as Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, which oversees American burial grounds in foreign countries, including the American cemetery and memorial in Normandy, France. Both are decorated Army veterans.


ANC Superintendent John Metzler, Jr., will remain in his post supporting funerals and ceremonial activities until July 2 - when he retires from federal service. However, Metzler will now report directly to the new Executive Director, and has received a letter of reprimand from McHugh based on the IG’s findings.

At McHugh’s request, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is providing a detailee while the Army conducts a nationwide search for a new Superintendent.

Patrick K. Hallinan, Director of the Office of Field Programs for the VA, who is responsible for the development and implementation of National Cemetery Policy, will be temporarily reassigned to ANC as its Superintendent. Hallinan has more than 31 years of cemetery service, and currently has oversight responsibilities for 130 national cemeteries.

The cemetery’s Deputy Superintendent was placed on administrative leave pending a disciplinary review in the wake of the findings.

“Arlington National Cemetery is the place where valor rests, a place of reverence and respect for all Americans,” McHugh said. “The Army recognizes its sacred responsibility to ensure America’s confidence in the operation of its most hallowed ground, and to the heroes for whom this is their final resting place. I believe these changes will do just that.”

In addition to Arlington National Cemetery, the Army National Cemeteries Program includes the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

The IG’s report and other documents are located on the Web HERE

For additional information, call Army Media Relations Division at 703-614-1742 or 703-697-2564.