Every day I was on post in the Army, I listened to a bugle play Reveille
at 0600, usually after we started PT, which meant we stopped our running or calisthenics to stand at attention and salute. The same bugle played Retreat
and To the Colors
at 1700, near the end of the work day. The songs weren't just background noise; they accompanied the raising and lowering of the post flag, which ritually and symbolically marked the beginning and end of each day in the Army (although we usually began our day before Reveille and ended it after Retreat). We all shared the same experience. Every soldier who was outdoors and on post stood at attention and saluted in the direction of the post flag during the music, whether or not he could see the flag. At 2200 every night, the mournful sound of Taps
, the same bugle song played at the conclusion of soldiers' funerals, suffused hauntingly into the dark and quiet on post. Listening to these songs
brings back feelings and memories of my day-to-day life as a soldier.
: The Army bugle calls have been moved to this page