The Bugler Plays Taps

Memorial Day is an American holiday to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.

Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season. Yet regardless of how you choose to spend your time, we should always remember those who’ve sacrificed their life for the benefit of others.

As a result, several years ago I wrote a poem titled, “The Bugler Plays Taps.” I share it today in my effort to continue the tradition of honoring those who’ve died serving all Americans.

The Bugler Plays Taps


Men of gallantry

Women of courage

Bravery in combat

Never discouraged


Fighting with valor

Flying with nerve

Spines that were daring

Limbs filled with verve


Yet human they were

Mortality reigned

Casualties of war

And death to them came


Regardless of decade

Or mission in battle

Nobility was called

They would not rattle


They fought for ideas

Carried life in a bag

They defended our liberty

Represented our flag


Today of all days

Stars and stripes should be waving

If they are not

You’re misbehaving


Memorial Day we honor

And always salute

The warriors who shielded

And lived resolute


They awoke to reveille

Yet died on world maps

We gratefully remember

As The Bugler Plays Taps


– Jim McNeff



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