The last Monday in May is a federal holiday in the United States of America, known as Memorial Day.
On this day, (as we do in the United Kingdom on Armistice Day) the American nation unites to honour those military personnel who served in the Armed Forces and paid the ultimate sacrifice whilst serving their country.
Buglers and trumpet players across the United States will proudly perform their musical tributes to The Fallen by sounding “Taps” at cemeteries and War Memorials. This is the American equivalent of The “Last Post” and has been used by the United States Army since 1862. As with the Last Post, Taps is traditionally played on a Bugle (therefore does not require any valves) and consists of only 4 different pitched notes (compared to the 5 used in Last Post).
The origin of the Bugle call’s title – “Taps” – harks back to approximately the 17th century, and is linked to when British troops were stationed in The Netherlands. There the older Dutch custom called “taptoe”, from which comes the term Tattoo as in Military tattoo, was used to signal the end of the day. The taptoe’s origin was in actual fact for signalling the moment that beer taps had to be shut, hence that the drinking day had ended and the revellers were required to vacate the premises, similar to “Last Orders” in British pubs. It comes from the Dutch phrase “Doe den tap toe”, meaning “Close the tap”.
For more information about the Last Post and Taps, please contact Andrew on 07973 869621 or visit the web-site