Monday, January 28, 2013

'The Last Post...The real story....'

If any of you have ever been
to a military funeral in which
The Last Post was played; 
This brings out a new meaning of it.
Here is something everyone should know.
Until I read this, I didn't know,
We have all heard the haunting song,
'The Last Post.'
It's the song that gives us the lump
in our throats and usually tears in our eyes.
But, do you know
the story behind the song?
If not, I think you will be interested
to find out about its humble beginnings.
Reportedly, it all began in 1862
during the American 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.
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 through the gunfire,
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 they could give him only one musician.
The Captain chose a bugler. 
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
'The Last Post'
used at military funerals was born.
The words are: 

Day is done. 
Gone the sun.. 
From the lakes 
From the hills. 
From the sky.. 
All is well.   
Safely rest.   
God is nigh. 
Fading light. 
Dims the sight.
And a star. 
Gems the sky.
Gleaming bright. 
From afar.. 
Drawing nigh. 
Falls the night.. 
Thanks and praise. 
For our days. 
Neath the sun 
Neath the stars. 
Neath the sky
As we go. 
This we know. 
God is nigh
I too have felt the chills while listening to
'The Last Post'
But I have never seen all the words
to the song until now.
I didn't even know there
was more than one verse .
I also never knew the story
behind the song and I didn't know if
You had either so I thought I'd pass it along.
I now have an even deeper respect
for the song than I did before.
Remember Those Lost and Harmed
While Serving Their Country.
Also Remember Those
Who Have Served And Returned;
And for those presently serving in
the Armed Forces.
Please send this on.
For our soldiers...
please don't break it .
I didn't!

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