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If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which The Last Post was played; 

This brings out a new meaning of it. 

Here is something everyone should know. 

Until I read this, I didn't know, 

We have all heard the haunting song, 'The Last Post.' 

It's the song that gives us the lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes. 

But, do you know the story behind the song? 

If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble beginnings. 

Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the American Civil War, when 

Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia ... The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of and. 

During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach 

through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began 

pulling him toward his encampment. 

When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.. 

The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier.. It was his own son. 

The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army. 

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. 

His request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral. 

The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. 

But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician. 

The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform. 

This wish was granted. 

The haunting melody, we now know as 'The Last Post' used at military funerals was born. 

The words are: 


Day is done. 


Gone the sun.. 


From the lakes 


From the hills. 


From the sky. 


All is well. 


Safely rest. 


God is nigh. 




Fading light. 


Dims the sight. 


And a star. 


Gems the sky. 


Gleaming bright. 


From afar.. 


Drawing nigh. 


Falls the night.. 




Thanks and praise. 


For our days. 


Neath the sun 


Neath the stars. 


Neath the sky 


As we go. 


This we know. 


God is nigh. 


I too have felt the chills while listening to 'The Last Post' 


But I have never seen all the words to the song until now. 


I didn't even know there was more than one verse . 


I also never knew the story behind the song and I didn't know if you had either so I thought I'd pass it along. 


I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before. 

Remember Those Lost and Harmed While Serving Their Country. 

Also Remember Those Who Have Served And Returned; 

And for those presently serving in the Armed Forces. 

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  • 6 years later...

One of my uncles is a retired USAF Colonel. Back a few years ago I accompanied him to a funeral at "The Garden"  for one of his old Commanding General. This General started his career in the US Army Air Corps. As a military spouse I have also been to more military funerals then I would like. Taps does not go through my spirit like hearing Amazing Grace played on the Bagpipes does. I long for the day when we can beat all our Swords into Plowshares and learn war no more! 

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  • 9 months later...

I was looking through some old comments and took notice of this one. Still miss Smiley. My husband and I recently attended the services of what he called one of his mentors going all the way back to his days at the Academy. A Veteran of both Korea and Vietnam. He served on too many ships to list here. He had retired in the 1980s from the Navy but was working at the Academy for years afterward. His services were a bit subdued because of Covid and social distancing. I was surprised to see bagpipes being played after the service and his body being removed for burial. This song was played. Later I asked my husband what that song was? He said it was "Abide with me" and it was not the first time he had heard it played at a funeral. 



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