RANGER AGAINST WAR: The Taps Brigade <

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Taps Brigade

Tho' all the world betrays thee,

One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,

One faithful harp shall praise thee!

--The Minstrel Boy


"The Traveling Taps Brigade" is a moving piece in today's WaPo about retired veterans who continue to serve and witness through sounding taps at funerals in place of the military's recorded version, and whose devotion to cause is unwavering. A worthy read, and a salute to the Taps Brigade.

We'd also like to note friend and fellow veteran blogger minstrelboy at Harp and Sword, who volunteers his services playing music at veteran's funerals, too. We render a salute all the way around.

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Blogger SPIIDERWEBâ„¢ said...

It begs the question as to why the military can't provide live musicians instead of using a recording.

I'd guess most states, if not counties if the reserves are included, have competent buglers. They provide people for 21 gun salutes. No recording used there.

This isn't something I'm familiar with, other than one military funeral, but isn't taps played only at National Cemeteries?

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 7:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


The military started using recordings of taps several years ago. As for the protocol, I am not sure.

Here is a web page on taps where among other things, they solicit for Boy Scouts and others to do the duty, as there is such a need from without the military for that service:


Monday, May 26, 2008 at 8:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'm in agreement- IF a soldier dies on active duty there should be a Bugler provided for the memorial service and actual burial.
Retired personnel are not as critical imho.These can be administered by the fraternal associations.
During the VN war all Company CDRS at Ft. Benning were on a duty roster to perform survivor assistance duty.Doing this once was more than enuf for me.
Glad you're back . jim

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9:06:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous mike said...

We had a Boy Scout at our ceremonies yesterday. He hit only one or two sour notes but played proudly and got a ton of handshakes and thanks.

Two weeks ago I traveled to Riverside National Cemetery to attend the funeral of an old family friend - a vet of the Korean War. At first I thought the bugler was an Army Reservist but when I went to thank him I realized he was as old or older than the guy we buried. Turns out he was one of the Taps Brigade. He mentioned that he and hs other buglers were having a hard time keeping up as at that particular cemetery they were burying 40 veterans per day, mostly from WW2 and Korea.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9:35:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i sort of fell into the duty. i played a funeral for a young man from my little home town. the commander of honor guard appreciated my contribution. he asked for my name and number and i gave it. after that, i came to know the command sgt major of the state guard. they offered compensation. i refused. since moving, i am doing the same for where i am now.

i figure it's a good thing to do. it's a small thing for me to do, but, i'm told it is a great comfort to the families. that's payment, and recognition enough.

still, it is nice to be noticed, and thanked.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 10:43:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


It is a very big-hearted thing you do when you play at these funerals, and I imagine it must be wrenching. I also know that it will be unforgettable to the friends and families in attendance.

You always keep it real, and for that, I admire you. Thank you again.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 11:49:00 AM GMT-5  

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