Wednesday, January 1, 2014

TAPS - Last Post in Holland

Perhaps you have already heard this young lady play Taps before, but you might not have heard 'the rest of the story'.

The American Cemetery and Memorial is in the village of Margraten, The Netherlands, about six miles from Maastricht. There lie buried 8,301 American soldiers killed in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall and winter of 1944-5. Sgt. Bill Dukeman, 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Second Battalion, Company C (of "Band of Brothers fame) is buried there. He was killed in the battle of "The Crossroads" in northern Holland.

The Dutch hold an annual memorial concert every September at the above cemetery to remember and honor the Americans who died to free them in Operation Market Garden and subsequent efforts to eject the German army from Holland. Sgt. Dukeman, like many other fallen GIs, was "adopted" by a Dutch family. Dukeman's family in the States was contacted and hosted in Holland, and his grave site decorated each year by his Dutch "family." They keep his portrait in their home, displayed in a place of honor. Fathers pass this obligation down to their sons in Holland. This version of the original "taps" music is played by a 17-year-old Dutch girl named Melissa Venema; she's been playing is for the past five years. The conductor of the orchestra is Andre Rieu also from Holland.

Many of you may never have heard taps played in its entirety . The original version of Taps was called Last Post, and was written by Daniel Butterfield in 1801. It was rather lengthy and formal, as you will hear in this clip, so in 1862 it was shortened to 24 notes and re-named Taps.

Melissa Venema is playing it on a trumpet; the original was played on a bugle of course.

This is the epitome of Honor . . .



  1. Dang dust on my keyboard....It is good that fallen warriors are honored in such a way, I see too little of that in this day and age. Many people have forgotten the cost of freedom and what it took to be free and what they had to live under before the yoke of tyranny was removed.
    You honor them by posting things such as this.

  2. Thank you. And bought warm memories of my honorable late father who had served in the US Army in Europe during the WWII.
    Happy New Year.

  3. Thanks for injecting a bit of culture into what would otherwise be a humble visit to the intarwebz. Both the artist and the art were absolutely beautiful.

  4. I never knew that U.S. Soldiers were remembered this way. Thanks for the great post.

  5. Although the young lady played very well, that is not Taps as such. That is a stylized version. It is definitely not as originally written and played in the U.S.

  6. This is the original version as it was written in 1801. The version we know was re-written in 1862 and shortened to 24 notes.

  7. I was named after Ellwood J Hanson who died on Nov.25, 1944 and is buried in this cemetery. My father was wounded in his left arm and shoulder at the same time. I am honored to be named for an American soldier that gave his life for freedom. My father was Purdy Hays.

  8. Maybe it's just me, but calling Last Post the "full version of Taps" (Taps being the name of the bugle call) seems backwards. It would be like calling Borodin's Polovetsian Dances the "Full version of Stranger in Paradise."