Independence Day Brings Echoing Strains of Taps
By Dianne E. Butts –
The Fourth of July brings many images to mind as we celebrate our independence and the founding of our beloved country. The rocket’s red glare. Bombs bursting in air. Or today’s edition of those images: fireworks.
American flags fluttering from houses. Parades. Veterans. Everything patriotic. God and country.
Not far from our thoughts are many, many veterans who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. If we are still and listen carefully, we can hear echoing through time or our thoughts or a not too distant cemetery, the familiar strains of “Taps.”
A lone bugler stands over a funeral and puffs out the song perfectly. Military personnel stand at attention. A flag is draped over the casket. Hands cover hearts. A tear comes to every eye.
We’ve all heard it. We may even sing along the familiar tune and the first few words: Day is done. Gone the sun…
But beyond that, do you know the words? Did you know there are actually several verses to “Taps”? Here are the surprisingly comforting words to this familiar “funeral song”:
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
May the soldier or sailor, God keep.
On the land or the deep, Safe in sleep.
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.
(As found on http://www.countrygoldusa.com/taps.asp, May 28, 2007.)