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military funeral question


Alpo

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Have you ever been to one where the officiating minister spoke the words to Taps? While it was being played, instead of just standing there listening to the music, he said, "day is done, gone the Sun ..."?

 

I've only been to two. This did not happen.

 

There is an online story, and the preacher did that in the story. And that just seemed so hokey.

 

But they do a lot of things at funerals that seem hokey to me.

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I’ve been to 3 and never heard that! 

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Been to a number of funerals. Never seen that done.  In my opinion, the lyrics would detract from the melody. 
 

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

 

Taps was originally not a funeral song. It was the bugle call at day’s end when the taverns’ taps were closed.  Hence, the name “Taps”.  Also, every base I served at played Taps at night to signal day’s end. 

 

Over time the melody’s purpose expanded to include funerals. Personally, I find it to be haunting, beautiful, mournful, and uplifting, all in 24 notes. I hope my kids play it for me when it’s my turn to go forward. 

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I have seen and heard the words to “Taps” but not at a funeral. I recall learning about them in the Navy then years later at a Revolutionary War reenactment. There was a guy giving a lecture on military music. It was quite interesting. 
 

 

As for “Taps” at my funeral…

I do not like funerals. I do not intend to go to my funeral so I really don’t care how it’s conducted. ;)

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been to over 100 military Funerals and Never .

12 minutes ago, Pat Riot said:

As for “Taps” at my funeral…

I do not like funerals. I do not intend to go to my funeral so I really don’t care how it’s conducted. ;)

 

Neither do I but been to too many , Not much join in handing a flag to a 3 year old , as far as not attending your own let us know how that works out :)

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1 hour ago, PowderRiverCowboy said:

as far as not attending your own let us know how that works out :)

Will do. 
image.thumb.jpeg.98fa916402d2d69955a2453097e971e2.jpeg

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My preference, were it allowed, is to put me in a cargo net with a few bricks and sink me to the bottom of a lake. I’ve enjoyed enough catfish. Might as well return the favor. I hate the idea of paying hard earned money for a plot and headstone that’s forgotten in a generation. 
 

I do hope the kids throw a good wake and toast me after Taps. 

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@Charlie Harley, #14153 I feel the same way only I have told everyone in my family to cremate me and dump my ashes under a tree somewhere or if the option still exists, arrange for them to be dumped at sea by a U.S. Navy surface warfare vessel. I do not want them embalming me for viewing. It’s a waste of money. 

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I have stated my preference in a letter attached to my Will: cremation with my ashes launched into space by Celestis or some other outfit that does that sort of thing.  As for Taps, the thing that always gets to me at a military funeral is a flyover of at least four jets, with one pulling up out of the formation in the Missing Man Formation, a tribute to a fallen flyer. Would be nice, but wouldn't apply to me, and I can't see them launching a Minuteman missile for me, either! 

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I have been to many,way more than i can count, funerals usually part of firing detail. I've never heard the words of taps used. My first detail I saw a 300lb + biker crying like a baby. My last was an 18 yo kid home from boot camp did too much drinking before trying to drive. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619 said:

If it wasn't for funerals, I'd never get to see dozens of old friends and colleagues.

 

A few years before my dad passed he was at the family cemetery for the annual Decoration Day.  A fellow observed that, "Every year you see fewer and fewer people here for this."  Dad replied, "They're here."

 

My granddad listened to the funeral announcements on the radio at 12:30 every day.   Going to the funeral home for a viewing was at least a once-a-week social event for him.

Edited by Stump Water
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I knew there were "lyrics" for Taps... several versions.  But I've never heard them spoken or sang while Taps was being played... funeral, EoD, lights-out or otherwise.

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Boy Scout Days

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, 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.

Sun has set, shadows come,
Time has fled, Scouts must go to their beds
Always true to the promise that they made.

While the light fades from sight,
And the stars gleaming rays softly send,
To thy hands we our souls, Lord, commend.

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I live in the same city that I was born and grew up in. I practiced law for 45 years here, etc. etc.

 

So funerals, funeral receptions, etc have always brought together friends, acquaintances, and colleagues dow the years, many of whom I'd never see otherwise since retiring. 

 

My kids know to put a good one on for me when the time comes, with a good spread at the reception!

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My kids know that I want a few veterans from both the Army and the Corps in attendance, for the National Anthem and Taps played, and then they can do whatever they want with my ashes.  I can't see using up any real estate to bury me and I will have no further use whatever is left.  Maybe find a few red roses and pour me around the roots along with some coffee  grounds and tomato juice.  Roses thrive on that.

 

And I'd be grateful if someone could get a little kid to smile and a dog to wag its tail at my ceremony.  For years that has been a sign of a good day ahead.  Maybe it will work for whatever adventure I find on the other side.

 

'' I'll try to let y'all know how that turns out.

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I think I'll leave some money and instructions with an out-of-town school chum to have a chauffer-driven stretch pull up on a hill over-looking my internment, have the driver open the limo's door for a blond and a red-head wearing black dresses to step out,  watch until the ceremony is over, then get back in and drive off.

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Bugle call of Taps followed by Amazing Grace on bag pipes. Few make it through that without a tear. 
Still, the hardest things to do is to kneel with a folded flag in front of a mom or wife and whisper “On behalf of a grateful nation….”

 

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16 hours ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

I'll try to let y'all know how that turns out

Not too sure if that will happen Forty. Before my cousin passed away 10 years ago, we sat down and we made a specific plan for what would be done if and when he returned from the other side, hasn't happened yet but I'm still waitin'. 

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Folks have lots of ideas, but to me it's just do what has usually been done from time out of mind: a ceremony, burial or cremation, and a good reception/wake. Simple enough.

 

Funerals are for the living, not the dead. When I see "in accordance with his wishes, there will be no nothing" I always wonder about the family's actual wishes. I've often regretted seeing that myself for some I knew well.

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1 hour ago, Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619 said:

Funerals are for the living, not the dead. When I see "in accordance with his wishes, there will be no nothing" I always wonder about the family's actual wishes. I've often regretted seeing that myself for some I knew well.

 

True but going in  debt to the tune of thousands of dollars on a fancy funeral is not smart IMNSHO.

 

My late wife did not want a funeral.  She passed in December so travel would have been difficult. We opted to hold a celebration of life over the 4th of July weekend the following year.  We had a wonderful time celebrating her life. Because we had time to plan and schedule time off, it was much better remembrance than if we would have had a funeral in December.

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Any observance will  do, and nobody should break the bank.

 

Personally I know of several deaths during Covid where it was announced that the obsequies would be had at a later time. A couple did. Several never did anything which I was sorry about.

 

It's becoming more common.

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32 year military career and I have never been to a military funeral there the lyrics of Taps has been presented.

 

Now that I'm 2 1/2 years retired, I dread donning my dress blues. Since retirement, i only wear them for two occasions. Either a commissioning first salute or a funeral.  That leaves wearing my uniform a 50% chance of attending a sobering event. On top of that, it's a real pain having to spit shine a pair of paratrooper boots to perfection and it's even worse wearing them. They are about as comfortable as dipping bamboo slivers in Tabasco sauce before shoving the slivers under your toe nails. 

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My Father in law, my Father and my uncles were laid to rest with a bugler playing the Last Post and the Rouse.

My FIL and my Dad's service were also attended by a Piper playing the Lament, "Flowers of the Forest".

 

 

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On 6/6/2024 at 3:51 AM, Alpo said:

Paid mourners.

 

I understand that used to be a lucrative profession.

In some cases they wouldn’t have to pay me, but I wouldn’t be mourning. :D

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Dad entered service with the Army Air Corps in 1944 and retired a Major in 1984 from the US Army.  His time included active duty, reserve and national guard.  He was a Cadet at West Point from 1942-1943 before joining the USAAC.  We contacted Fort Hood and they sent a detachment to Fort Worth for his funeral in 2005, he was 81 when he passed.

 

 

32-gun salute.jpg

33-honor guard taps.jpg

34-salute.jpg

35-folding flag 5.jpg

36-folding flag 4.jpg

37-folding flag 3.jpg

15 - Dad Uniform.jpg

16 - Dad Flight.jpg

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