Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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TAPS - Last Post in Holland



Perhaps you have already heard this young lady play Taps before, but you might not have heard 'the rest of the story'.

The American Cemetery and Memorial is in the village of Margraten, The Netherlands, about six miles from Maastricht. There lie buried 8,301 American soldiers killed in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall and winter of 1944-5. Sgt. Bill Dukeman, 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Second Battalion, Company C (of "Band of Brothers fame) is buried there. He was killed in the battle of "The Crossroads" in northern Holland.

The Dutch hold an annual memorial concert every September at the above cemetery to remember and honor the Americans who died to free them in Operation Market Garden and subsequent efforts to eject the German army from Holland. Sgt. Dukeman, like many other fallen GIs, was "adopted" by a Dutch family. Dukeman's family in the States was contacted and hosted in Holland, and his grave site decorated each year by his Dutch "family." They keep his portrait in their home, displayed in a place of honor. Fathers pass this obligation down to their sons in Holland. This version of the original "taps" music is played by a 17-year-old Dutch girl named Melissa Venema; she's been playing is for the past five years. The conductor of the orchestra is Andre Rieu also from Holland.

Many of you may never have heard taps played in its entirety . The original version of Taps was called Last Post, and was written by Daniel Butterfield in 1801. It was rather lengthy and formal, as you will hear in this clip, so in 1862 it was shortened to 24 notes and re-named Taps.

Melissa Venema is playing it on a trumpet; the original was played on a bugle of course.

This is the epitome of Honor . . .

- STORMBRINGER SENDS

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