Thursday, May 2, 2013

'Taps' a National Song, Thanks to Legionnaire

Les Hampton
Les Hampton
BATH, NY — Les Hampton, a member of John P. Eaton Post 746 in Corning, was honored May 1 for his years of work that helped the bugle song “Taps” be designated as a National Song of Remembrance, both the Corning Leader and Elmira Star Gazette reported.

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, presented Hampton with a copy of the federal legislation that named “Taps” a song of remembrance during a ceremony at Charles E. Wescott American Legion Post 173 in Bath.

“It was a great feeling, and relief when I first heard naming ‘Taps’ a national song had gone through,” Hampton told the Corning Leader. “We’ve been working for this quite a while."

With the help of Congressman Reed and Jari Villanueva, bugle historian and Arlington National Cemetery bugler, Hampton moved the proposal of making ‘Taps” a National Song of Military Remembrance from an idea to a law.

Rep. Reed and Les Hampton
Congressman Tom Reed and Les Hampton
“Taps” was composed by Union Army General Daniel Butterfield and bugler Oliver Willcox Norton in 1862.

Since then, “Taps” has signaled the end of daily military activities and has been the traditional musical salute at military funerals, memorials and wreath-laying ceremonies.

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War was commemorated in 2012.

The legislation making “Taps” a national song was passed in late 2012 and became a law in January 2013.