Sunday, February 15, 2009


Having been asked to write a song about "patriotism," for our Lee's Summit Men's Chorus, I have reflected back to some of the "patriotic scenes" I have viewed, in Cedar Vale.

One was for a funeral for one of our veterans. George Beggs, our esteemed band director, asked if I would play the "echo" at the grave-side ceremonies. I said, "sure!" I remember the ride out to the cementary, with all the VFW men. Lots of laughter, lots of stories, lots of remembering. We got there. Services were held. Shots were fired.

Then came the time for "Taps!" Mr. Beggs told me to go a distance, behind a tree, and that after he played "Taps," I was to respond, in kind. He played. Goosebumps went up my spine! I didn't want him to quit playing.... Then, it was my turn, I played the "echo" as well as I could. Not a soul around. Just me, the trumpet and God, and all those who came to the grave to give their final respects. Final is not the right word. Those "respects" will last forever!

On our way back to town, what had been a laughing, joking crew, turned into silence. No words were spoken. No glances met. We arrived home. We departed. That "moment" has stayed with me. Though very young, I felt, in some small way, the way they felt, burying their brother.

And so, if you have "some lines" that might be incorporated into a song that will sing of freedom, of liberty, of justice for all, I will try to use them in a "song of freedom!

God bless you, each and everyone!


Phil Foust said...

Don, it would seem to me that your "patriotism" song should be incorporated into and somewhat mirror this beautifully written "taps" blog.

Great job!

DFCox said...

Now that we are losing WWII Vets at a rapid rate, I note that the Service Branches all have an honor squadron which will attend any veterans funeral if asked. They are specially uniformed and have a precision drill routine that involves Taps, a gun volley salute, and the care and presentation of the flag. Here in the CV area I have seen the honor group from Ft. Riley several times and the the Air Force Group from McConnell AFB. They add dignity to the burial, cause a big lump in my throat, and make my bosom swell with PATRIOTISM.

Phil Foust said...

...of thee we sing?

Pat Pate Molder said...

I well remember the day the telegram came telling of Carl Sheldon's death. Vera had a beauty shop in the back of Hankins' Drug Store. I was working there the day Don Hankins went back to the beauty shop to give Vera the bad news. I've never forgotten her screams, her tears and her agony.