Veterans Day is observed every year on November 11th. It began as Armistice Day in May of 1938 and it wasn’t until June 1, 1954 that Congress amended the holiday to be what we know today, Veterans Day.
There is a significant difference in the holidays Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Memorial Day was created to honor those American soldiers whom perished while serving. Veterans Day was created to honor all those whom have served in the United States Military.
That’s all pretty common knowledge so let’s talk about something a little different. I have been around my share of military members and one thing that will stop veterans in their tracks is the playing of “taps”.
“Taps” is a call that is played by a bugle or trumpet at dusk, flag ceremonies or funerals of military veterans. It’s a very distinctive and somber tune.
“Taps” is a variation of an older tune known as the “Scott Tattoo”. The present day version was arranged by Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield in 1862. He was a Civil War General and a Medal of Honor recipient. He used “Taps” as a way of signaling “lights out” to his soldiers.
When you hear “Taps” today only a few things could be taking place.
1) The day is ending.
2) A flag is being retired.
3) A funeral service is concluding.
We can learn some life lessons from these three. Here are my thoughts when I hear this beautiful tune.
1) My day is over, did I make a difference?
2) As with the flag, I will retire. Will I be able to say I made a difference?
3) At my funeral will I be remembered as someone who made a difference?
The day will end, “Taps” will be played, and your legacy will last forever. Make a difference in someone’s life today. Find a veteran, hug their neck, buy them a lunch and just say “thank you!” That will make a difference.