“Taps” is a song you learn as a kid. It sounds simple, but it has to be perfect because everyone knows it. The first time I executed it was prior to my joining the military. I was teaching in Louisville. A young Marine had died, and they called the high school, wanting one of the kids to come and play. The band director called me and said that he thought it required a little more finesse than a student would have, so I went and played. It wasn’t a month later that another young Marine was killed, and I played at his funeral as well. You have to be calm and focused. At first, you want to execute it right because you want to play well. But the family will often come and speak to the bugler. And when you look into their eyes for the first time, you realize from that point on that it’s not about performance, it’s beyond that. When I say that little prayer before I play it’s not for me. It’s for them.

Chief Warrant Officer Robin Crawford
Mississippi National Guard


5 Replies to “Taps”

  1. My daughter was horrified to hear me singing “Taps” to my infant grandson to get him to sleep! It has several beautiful verses that sound more like a prayer/lullaby to me. You are a man of many talents, Jesse!

  2. There are three bugle calls daily. Revile, retreat, and taps. Everyone know what revile is, retreat is played to lower the colors at the end of the work day, and taps at lights out. Every afternoon at 1630 local time soldiers on every base around the world gather in formation, face the flag, and render a salute. It seems silly, but it’s one of the things I miss the most about being in the army.

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