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Origin of Taps -
“Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison’s Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach, the captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment.
When the captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.
The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status.
His request was only partially granted. The captain had asked if he could have a group of army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral. The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say he could have one musician play.
The captain chose a bugler, and he asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth’s uniform. This wish was granted, The haunting melody we now know as “Taps,” used at military funerals, was born.
Source: Pulpit Helps (July 2001) article written by:
Diane O. Sides
Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO
Over 25,000 Americans commit suicide each year. Over one million will try but only one out of fifteen will succeed. It is the tenth highest killer in the U.S. More will die by suicide than by murder. The model age for attempting suicide is 32 for men and 27 for women. The model age of succeeding is 50-54 for men and women. Men kill themselves twice as often as women, but women attempt suicide twice as often as men. There are over 5,000 suicides among teen-agers each year. Some 10,000 college students will attempt suicide in a year. It is the second highest cause of death among young people aged 15-24 surpassed only by accidents. Thirteen young adults each day consider life not worth the living. That is twice as many as ten years ago and three times as many as twenty years ago. One report indicated that as many as 12 percent of all school-aged children will contemplate suicide at least once in their formative years.
Pete and Tony were great baseball fans. They were talking about baseball
one day & Pete says, “I wonder if there is baseball in heaven.”
Tony replies, “I don’t know.”
Soon after, Tony dies. One day he calls Pete from heaven and they’re
talking and Pete says, “Tony, you gotta’ tell me. Is there baseball in
Tony says, “Well, I have some good news & some bad news. The good news
is that there is baseball in heaven. The bad news is that you’re pitching
Dr. W. A Criswell, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas Texas, said on one occasion on an airplane flight he found himself seated beside a well-known theologian. He desperately wanted to start a conversation and they did get to talk. The man told Dr. Criswell about how he had recently lost his little boy through death. Dr. Criswell listened as he told his story: He said he had come home from school with a fever and we thought it was just one of those childhood things, but it was a very virulent form of meningitis. The doctor said we cannot save your little boy. He’ll die.
And so this seminary professor, loving his son as he did, sat by the bedside to watch this death vigil. It was the middle of the day and the little boy whose strength was going from him and whose vision and brain was getting clouded said, "Daddy, it’s getting dark isn’t it?" The professor said to his son, "Yes son it is getting dark, very dark." Of course it was very dark for him. He said, "Daddy, I guess it’s time for me to go to sleep isn’t it?"
He said, "Yes, son, it’s time for you to go to sleep."
The professor said the little fellow had a way of fixing his pillow just so, and putting his head on his hands when he slept and he fixed his pillow like that and laid his head on his hands and sai...
I think we all share the sentiments of the tombstone that Read "I expected this but not yet".
A WW2 story tells of how some soldiers brought the body of a dead friend to a French Cemetary. The priest asked if the dead man had been a catholic, but they did not know. The priest said that the man could not be buried in the graveyard. They men took their friend and buried him outside the cemetery fence. The next day they came back to see if the grave was all right, and to their astonishment they could not find it. They were about to leave in confusion when the priest came out. He told them that he had been so troubled about the event that he arose early in the morning and moved the graveyard fence to include the grave of the soldier who had died.
There was a man who was on his death bed and he called the three men that he trusted the most to come and see him. He called his minister, his doctor and his lawyer to him and said, “When I die, I my savings account of $90,000 divided three ways and when you walk by my casket, I want each of you to put your $30,000 into my casket to be buried with me.” They didn’t understand why the man wanted to be buried with the money, but they oblidged him. A week later, the man died. At the funeral, each man placed their portion into the casket as they walked by to pay their last respects. As they were eating dinner together afterward, the minister said, “Guys, I have something to confess to you. I kept out some of the money. We’re in the middle of the building project, so I kept out $10,000.” Then the doctor spoke up. He said, “Well, if were going to confess things to each other, I guess I’d better confess too. We’re adding a new maternity ward onto the hospital and I kept out 20,000 of my portion to help defray the cost.” The lawyer had a disgusted look on his face as he shook his head and said, “You guys ought to be ashamed of yourselves. I hope you know that my $30,000 will always be with him in the ground. I wrote a personal check for the full amount!”
A little boy and his father visted the country store, upon leaving the store the owner of the store offered the little boy some free candy. "get a hand full of candy", the merchant said to the boy. The boy just stood there looking up at his father. The owner repeated himself, "Son get a hand full of candy, itís free." Again the boy did not move continuing to look up in the face of his father. Finally, the father reached into the candy jar and got a hand full of candy and gave it to his son. As they walked back home, the father stopped and asked his son why he did not grab a hand full of the free candy. The boy with a big smile ...
When DL Moody was a young man, he was suddenly called on to preach his first funeral. He searched all through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John trying to find a funeral sermon that Jesus preached. He made a wonderful discovery. Jesus never preached a funeral.
When General Patton, of World War 2 fame, was commended for his great courage, he told a friend, "Frankly, every time I hear a gunshot, I realize that I’m a coward. I am afraid to die."