Every evening between Memorial Day and Labor Day at 7 p.m., you can relinquish the noise and pressures of the day by strolling through the 17 sacred acres of Gettysburg National Cemetery to witness the sounding of taps.

I have had the honor to participate in this moving ceremony almost two hundred times. Even though the actual ceremony stays the same, every evening is different. At the end of May and through early June, spring is still in the air. The grass that carpets the hallowed grounds is yellow green and cemetery’s wildlife is out and busy. And the glorious warming sun spotlights the bugler. These gifted musicians, whose patriotism brings them to the cemetery, honor our veterans by sounding taps. They sound a one-minute call of gratitude to the interred; a one minute call for the guests in attendance. These musicians travel from all over this nation to be here. I am overwhelmed by this love and devotion. This should make us all feel good.

Wendy Allen is a member of the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania.

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