For whom does “Taps” play? (To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway.)
Clearly, Taps’ mournful notes commemorate those who gave their very lives rising against fascism, and of course, its murderous cousin, communism.
But, perhaps Taps’ notes also touch those of us who have forgotten the importance of the Allied D-Day landings in June of 1944.
The enemy (Nazi murderers) capitulated in May 1945. Good men and women gave their all against a fearful evil. Now?
America regularly observes its (Declaration of) Independence Day and Memorial Day, but forgets what it was that gave life to these observances, so the “D-Day” memory fades.
Taps’ mournful notes linger long for the survivors of the massive D-Day undertaking, as well as lullaby the thousands of white stone crosses, crescents and stars in the verdant turf that holds the dead of Normandy.
As Taps commemorates the humanity of immense undertakings to secure “freedoms” like D-Day, every year the memory of our heroics fades.
Time plus selfish politics exact a terrible toll: Unnecessary wars of choice; a culture consumed by selfish personal pursuits and narrow, special-interest politics.
The sight of seemingly endless rows of white gravestones is not something easily dismissed. But their vitality keeps fading?
Seriously! A nation survives an infamous attack (Pearl Harbor), plus a two-front war, then the weary heroes return to a civil life, and what happens?
Truth and integrity, partly separated from most politics, still clings to us. But, what have the former peers become? The “Super Heroes” who once acted in truth and honor have become as violent as the enemy.
The formidable human “backyard telegraph,” succumbed to the mindless checkout-lane social media “tabloids,” which is to say, our selfish, cell-phone habits.
Does Taps beckon those too selfish to resist evil? We once donned uniforms and cornered evil.
There are few things that grip one’s emotions, as does the sound of Taps. Its finality is or should be sobering.
But, America has grown indifferent to evil. We have forgotten that dying is not only permanent but very costly. It seems we have chosen to ignore the message flowing from our D-Day dead.
We no longer ask why these stone rows grow. We are in denial. Eisenhower feared the industrial-military complex and warned us.
Over-crowded fields of honor are testaments to the political skullduggery causing great undertakings like D-Day.
Though we cherish and praise those who perished, too often they died in vain. Their dying just made room for our failures and stubbornness, which has never been as evident, as on this very day, June 6!
Too many of us reweave our duty by ignoring, or rationalizing, the unintended consequences and suffering our apathy causes — weaving a very tangled shroud — for ourselves.
Honor and nationalism are (too often) spouted as patriotism, intended to ease the shame of tolerating evil, unlike the heroes who lie in D-Day sand.
If America’s mobs grow, then “Taps” plays for all Americans, not just those who do nothing.
D-Day was more than a video game!