“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
One Reply to “Taps”
This is such a lovely tribute by a lovely, sensitive man. I wish that you would post a video of him playing Taps.
We campers sing it before Lights Out at Camp Bratton Green during long ago summers. I have always loved the serene, peaceful melancholy it invokes.
Last week my dear friend and former supervisor and opera-going companion Dr. Esther Lampl died. She would have turned 101 in March. I’m going to sing Taps for her tonight.