Memorial Day 2011

Arlington National Cemetery Section 60As you know this weekend is Memorial Day weekend.  Most Americans are out shopping, getting the boat ready, camping, or just happy for a three day weekend.  I’d ask that you take some time to think about those that have given their lives for what you have right now.  I don’t think it is too much to ask to say a little prayer, attend a ceremony, or visit a memorial.

Corporal Bernard P. Corpuz, you have not been forgotten.

Taps

There are certain songs that get to me no matter when or where I hear them, and Taps is one of those songs. I heard Taps twice today, both during ceremonies remembering the fallen. Both times I lasted until the end when a lone trumpet played taps before my eyes teared up.

The first was at a dedication for the Bernard Corpuz MWR Room in the building I work in here on Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. Bernard Corpuz was the first and so far only causality of the 341st Military Intelligence Battalion. I didn’t know him very well since I was in a different company, but I did meet him once. What they said today at the dedication ceremony was true, he’s one of those guys you meet once and don’t forget. Of all the things dedicated to soldiers, the MWR Room is the most fitting as it is a place that gives you the chance to escape the realities of war and take a break from it all. The ceremony was very nice and touching, it concluded with a recording of Taps, which is when I teared up.

The second was at a September 11th Memorial Service on the flight line. This was a well attended service with a lot of major dignitaries. The ceremony featured some prayers and speeches by two of the General Officers in command. Of all the things said or shown at the ceremony what got to me the most were the International Troops in the audience. It touched me that they would take time out of their routines to attend the memorial service for those that lost their lives on that day five years ago. It really showed to me that we are all in this war on terrorism together and they will stand by us through it all. The ceremony concluded with a lone trumpeter from the 10th Mountain Division Band playing Taps.

I’m not sure what it is about Taps but it is a moving song that reaches deep inside of me and plays with my emotions. Maybe its the way it is played so solemnly, maybe its the way the notes fad into nothing, but there isn’t a song out there except for Taps that can get me so emotional.