Taps 150 Celebration

This is excerpted from an article in the Washington Post. This past weekend on Saturday May 19th, 2012 the celebration of 150 years since Taps was first sounded took place. 200 buglers from around the world gathered at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday. Today, the US military can no longer provide the number of Buglers needed to honor our country’s Veterans, so many civilian organizations including the Boy Scouts of America provide these military funeral honors through Bugles Across America.

The call is 24 notes long, a simple line of music that lasts only a matter of seconds. But Taps, dubbed the national song of remembrance, has become one of the most recognized and evocative melodies in American culture.

Patrick Warfield, an assistant professor of musicology at the University of Maryland at College Park and a specialist in American musical culture, said Taps has a “transcendent” quality that goes beyond the melody.

“Every country has their own national mythology,” Warfield said. “In the U.S., we are so connected to the notion of egalitarianism, patriotism, democracy, equality.”

Taps is, in essence, a musical representation of those values, he said.

By 10 a.m. Saturday, onlookers filled the sunny center of Arlington’s Old Amphitheater, high on a hill overlooking the monuments and landmarks of Washington. Buglers circled the perimeter, men and women of all ages, instruments in hand. They were clad in formal attire from different chapters of history — modern and historical military uniforms, Boy Scout uniforms, police uniforms.

Together, they became one voice during the first mass sounding of Taps, and then a chorus of harmonized instruments during the second. The notes soared, strong enough to drown even the sound of a low-flying jet overhead.

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