Taps is a US Army bugle call played during flag ceremonies and at dusk to signal the “lights out” command at day’s end. Taps, the 24-note melancholy bugle call, was composed by Union General Daniel Adams Butterfield during the Civil War, quickly adopted by both Union and Confederate forces, and given the official name taps in 1874.
It is played at memorial services and military burials of the US armed forces. Taps is performed twice at military burials, once to accompany the lowering of the flag and once to signal the end of the day. In recent years, the buglers of Pershing’s Own, the US Army military band named after the highest-ranking General of the Armies John Pershing, play taps over 5000 times a year in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
This video shows the performance of taps at the end of day in the summer and the winter. It conveys to us that the deaths of our military men and women, who vowed to defend the country with their lives, occur all year regardless of the season.
SSG Jesse Tubb symbolizes those who perform taps by their lonesome self at the end of a summer day and SSG Drew Fremder those at the end of a winter day. The sound of the bugle may sound different through the lighter air molecules of a hot summer day compared to the deadening effect of the heavier air molecules of a cold winter day, but the solemnity and feelings of loss are unchanged.