From Memorial Day and running through Labor Day in 2022, notes of “Taps” fill the air every evening as the famous 24-note call is sounded in Gettysburg National Cemetery. We had the chance to experience this on June 29, 2022
During the formal Taps program beginning at 7 p.m. representatives from the Lincoln Fellowship, guest National Park Service Rangers, and Licensed Battlefield Guides offer brief historical vignettes. Called Enduring Pathways, these focus on Abraham Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address, the history of Taps, and the Soldiers’ National Monument, with topics changing nightly. Each night, a new volunteer will end the presentation with playing "Taps".
This is the six year that this presentation has been made and we have attended it in the past, but only recorded a little bit of the presentation. We featured that footage at the end of our video production - Lincoln's Path to the Gettysburg Address, but this year we recorded the entire presentation which you can view below:
The bugler in our video is Damon Morris from Kulpmont, Pa. Damon began sounding Taps for the Gratz, Pennsylvania VFW “Diamond Jubilee” Post in 1984 and remained post bugler until the early 2000s. As a member of the Valley Forge Military Academy Regimental Band and Herald Trumpets he served as a regimental bugler sounding all regimental bugle calls associated with cadet life including the sounding of Taps during chapel services.
His professional musical career includes: The Die Froehlich Wanderer German Band, Pine Grove Community Band, Principal positions with The Pottsville 3rd Brigade Band, and Lebanon Community Concert Band; Charter Principal Trumpet Central Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, and Associate Principal Trumpet Hershey Symphony Orchestra. In 1991 he enlisted in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 553rd Air Force Band of the Mid-Atlantic until 1997. Upon graduation of Basic Military Training School, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX, he was assigned to the United States Air Force Band Ceremonial Brass, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, DC for initial active duty.
Currently he is a recently retired Corrections Officer at the State Correctional Institution Coal Township, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. He began his career in 1999 and still serves as the bugler for the institution’s Honor Guard. He currently resides in Kulpmont, Pennsylvania with his wife Jennifer and daughter Emily. [In the video] Taps is sounded on a Keefer cornet manufactured in Williamsport, PA during World War I(1915) in remembrance of all past veterans, law enforcement officers and Major General Samuel Kosciuszko (Kos-kee-OOS-ko) Zook. Major General Samuel Kosciuszko Zook (a distant relative) was wounded during the battle of Gettysburg July 2, 1863 and died July 3, 1863.
We highly recommend three things:
If you are in Gettysburg during the summer months, make your way to the Soldier's National Cemetery by 7 p.m. to experience this great presentation.
Check out the Facebook Group for the 100 Nights of Taps 2022 here. We have and joined the group.
Check out the Lincoln Fellowship webpage for more information about this ceremony and presentation.
Let us know down in the comments section if you have experienced this presentation before in Gettysburg. If you watched our video above... you have.