More About Taps

…With the glut of information and the stories forwarded around on the Internet, who has the time to check it all out, especially when a story seems "nice" or "convenient," the kind that will really help connect a sermon point with the people in a memorable way? [But] After a while some of these stories have a certain sound or ring to them, and without wanting to offend anyone, I must say I found this one sounded just too nice, too coincidental, too sentimental. I did a bit of investigating, and discovered that the story of taps as I received by email and was printed by your magazine is actually a legend, a myth or a hoax.

It's a beautiful story, which I was very much tempted to use because of its emotional impact (really desirable for a Memorial Day service at church!). But it also serves to illustrate the fact that we as pastors much check the truth or the sources of the materials we use on the pulpit to make sure we're not illustrating God's truth with falsehood. [We need to] test the e-mail or informational spirits.

If you want to check out some other sources on this story, please see the following links, that to me have more of a ring of authority on the subject:

www.arlingtoncemetery.org/ceremonies/originoftaps.html

www.va.gov/pubaff/celebAm/taps.html, www.west-point.org/taps/Taps.html.

Rick Vanderwal

Fremont, Michigan