The beginning and the end

24 04 2010

Why is that we gather in the beginning and the end?  Why do we celebrate the starts and finishes?

We as a culture, either cultivated by our race or religion or both gather those that mean the most around us to celebrate life’s steps I guess I will call them.  We gather at births, baptisms, confirmations, graduations, weddings, anniversaries and funerals.  Yes some birthdays as well, especially for the youngun’s (spelled that way on purpose, the south is on my mind today, may be the book I am reading Trial by James Patterson or maybe the commercial with Sam what’s his face, you know he was in Roadhouse…I thought you’d be bigger).  What about all the life that’s in between? 

I assume, and I use this as a rule of thumb with Sydney(aka Vicious), that we surround ourselves with people we look up to, respect, lean on and want to help us through our endeavors.  These are the people who in part helped mold us into what we have become.  Why don’t we gather more in the middle?  It is almost like we have a grand entrance and at “Ta Da!” now presenting…and then we end up in a church some where listening to a reflection of this person served up by a pastor who most likely didn’t even know our person well.  Why?

I want a Powerpoint presentation of all the images that flash through my mind.  I want it served up with Hooter’s spicy garlic wings and an endless supply of Diet Pepsi and Heineken.

Where did this come from you wonder.   Well I had the honor of attending a celebration of life(memorial service) yesterday for a couple of good friends father.  It was in a church, fitting locale.  Church’s make me wonder, this is a good thing but it can make my mind drift off when I should be paying attention, I think God is ok with this as the message is usually what makes me wonder.  Weddings, baptism’s, funerals and just normal worship services just get me thinking.  Some of my best ideas come out on sunday mornings.

TF, whose service I attended was a Navy man.  I believe he fought in the Big War( some you youngun’s will have to look up WWII to do some learnun about history).  So it was fitting that two young members of the US Navy conducted a formal flag folding and presentation for the family including Taps being played.  I leave you with this, a history of Taps.  This was sent to me by a few different people but the last time by my daughter.

The story goes something like this.  It is said to begin around 1862 during the Civil War.  Union Captain Robert Ellicombe with his men were near Harrison’s Landing, VA.  During the night Capt. Ellicombe could hear moans from a wounded soldier in the fields.  Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier he risked his own life to bring the man to medical attention.  Crawling through the gunfire, Capt. Ellicomb drug the man back to his camp only to discover the soldier was a Confederate and he had died.  When the Captain lit a lamp he saw the boys face, he saw the face of his own son who had been studying music in the South when the war broke out.  The Captain requested a military funeral despite the enemy status and only partially granted.  His request for a military band was turned down, but out of respect for the captain he could have one musician, the Captain chose the bugler.  He asked the bugler to play a series of notes he had found in the pocket of his dead sons uniform, this wish was granted.  The haunting melody we all know as “Taps” was born.

I still get chills and a little choked up when I hear it.  I don’t know why, I was not a military man, although I have great respect for you that are or were.  I think it is out of respect and thankfulness for the gift of freedom that our armed forces have fought to provide for us.

Many of you will find this enlightening.  Did you know that “Taps” has words?  Here they are:

Day is done.  Gone from sun. From the lakes.  From the hills.  From the sky.  All is Well.  Safely rest.  God is nigh.  Fading Light.  Dims the sight…

And a star. Gems the sky.  Gleaming bright.  From afar.  Drawing nigh.  Falls the night…Thanks and Praise.  For our days.  Neath the sun.

Neath the stars.  Neath the sky.  As we go.  This we know.  God is nigh.

God is nigh.

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One response

7 05 2010
Stacey

Taps is taught at Camp Lu La Lea but only the first verse. I am glad you passed the whole thing on because I am going to send it to some people I know who will use it. Watch it spread. I never knew the story behing Taps before so I am feeling very enlightened today.

My Uncle Larry died when I was pregnant with Regan. He was in the Navy. His ship came in after the bomb and he helped clean up the mess. A brain tumer caused by radiation is what killed him.

I don’t know if you have been watching the made for HBO movie Pacific? Well, my great uncle Elmer was their in the pacific and faught in the very places and poor conditions we are seeing this show. When he retuned after the War my father recently told me that the family said he never once spoke of any of his experiences. He just dies at 93 this past spring.

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