Memorial Day Closes…

A long-held musical tradition at military funerals, the music of Taps originated from a Civil War bugle call entitled, “Extinguish Lights”. A plaintive call, the sounding of Taps signals the end of the fallen serviceman’s duty and is the final tribute from a grateful nation.

To those who have given the last full measure of devotion, we honor your service, pay tribute to your lives, and thank you for your selfless sacrifice.

The Bugler is Technical Sgt. Jason Covey. The location is Culpeper National Cemeteryhttps


“Today we honor the extra ordinary sacrifice of not only these service members, but also their families–especially our Gold Star families. Each individual loss brings untold grief. Each loss is a hope never realized. Each loss is a dream never reached.”

Every one was a son or a daughter. A husband or a wife. A mother or a father. Each is a gaping hole of grief that can never be adequately filled.”

“For the families of the fallen we are here to remember that for them every day is Memorial Day.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Mark A. Milley

As a 97 year old veteran of World War II permit me to recount a humorous incident that happened to me last year without intending any disrespect to my brothers-in-arms whom we remember on Memorial Day.

I was driving from Corpus Christi to Sinton after 5:00 PM in a heavy downpour of rain on Interstate Highway 37.

I was very sleepy and the driving conditions and heavy traffic made me realize that I was a danger to myself and other drivers.

I decided to pull off of the Interstate and find a spot where I could sleep for ten or fifteen minutes and hopefully would be able to continue to Sinton without the heavy rain.

I exited the Interstate Highway and found myself at the entrance to the Veterans’ Military Cemetery. I figured that it would be a quiet place to take a nap and so I entered and parked. I soon fell sound asleep.

I must have slept for 30 or 40 minutes when I was awakened by the sound of a bugle playing TAPS. It was now dark and still raining and for a few moments I was disoriented. I recognized that I was in a cemetery and in my half-awake confusion I thought that I had died and that I was being buried in a veterans military cemetery instead of the Crypt Chapel of Corpus Christi Cathedral. I became very confused and it took me a few minutes to fully wake up and realize that the playing of Taps was a signal that the Cemetery was being closed for the night.

I must confess to driving a little too fast as I exited the Cemetery as they were closing the gates for the night.

It was an unforgettable experience I enjoy retelling again and again.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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2 Responses to Memorial Day BRINGS A LOT OF MEMORIES TO MIND

  1. Carlos GRACIDA MALDONADO says:

    Dear Henry, you did have a funny experience when you woke up at the cementery, but you are a lucky boy and we´ll have you with us a lot of many more years.
    Con cariño Carlos Gracida

  2. Mary D says:

    Love this story!

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