Monday, May 26, 2014



Day is done, gone the 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 near
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.

Lyrics written by Horace Lorenzo Trim

Taps is also dubbed, Butterfield’s Lullaby. The tune is a variation of an earlier bugle call known as the Scott Tattoo and was arranged in its present form by the Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield, an American Civil War general and Medal of Honor recipient.  Butterfield commanded the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division in the V Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac.

According to Wikipedia, Captain John C. Tidball, West Point Class of 1848, started the custom of playing taps at military funerals. A corporal of Tidball’s Battery A, 2nd Artillery, died, and Tidball wished to bury him with full military honors. At the time, the custom was to fire three shots over the grave, but because of the situation, that wasn’t prudent. So Tidball decided to sound taps in lieu of the customary salute. Shortly after that, it became a military custom.

Taps always brings a tear to my eye. It’s a mournful tune, while simultaneously soothing in an eerie way. We don’t often hear the lyrics, and I feel that’s a shame, because they are beautiful in their simplicity. I believe the song was originally intended as a signal for lights out on military posts. When we were first stationed in Colorado, we temporarily lived on the Army base, and I looked forward to hearing those mournful notes every evening. It served to remind me that others always had my back; others who would give their life to protect me and mine. That was the first thing I missed when we moved off base.

I hope each of you have someone to remember on this day. Someone who was willing to protect and defend you, and give his/her life for you, if duty required that sacrifice. So that you can go to bed at night and know that ‘all is well’ and enable you to ‘safely rest.’ And to remind you, always, that God is nigh.


Cordelia Dinsmore


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