Posted on Nov 9, 2010

The College’s veterans and members of the Armed Forces will be honored during a special Veterans Day ceremony Thursday, Nov. 11.

During the ceremony, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel, Frank Taormina ’50 will tell the story of “Taps,” the bugle call composed by Daniel Butterfield, Class of 1849, who rose to the rank of major general in the Union Army. Butterfield composed the haunting call while in camp at Harrison's Landing, Va., in 1862.

General Daniel Adams Butterfield, composer of “Taps”

Unhappy with the call for “Extinguish Lights,” Butterfield, with the help of the brigade bugler, Oliver Willcox Norton (1839-1920), wrote a new call.

The call became known as “Taps” because it was often tapped out on a drum in the absence of a bugle call. It was officially adopted by the U.S. Army in 1874.

Rachel Finkelstein ’12 will play the bugle call during the ceremony, the first formal Veterans Day observance on campus in recent memory.

The Dutch Pipers and the Schenectady Pipe Band also will perform.

Dick Killeen ’51, chairman of the Garnet Guard, one of the organizers of the service, will give remarks.

In addition, miniature American flags will be placed along the route from the President’s House to Memorial Chapel.

“This ceremony is just one way we can honor Union College’s veterans,” said Tammy Messercola, director of Alumni Relations. “They gave their service to our country, and this is our way of saying thank you.”

The ceremony is open to all members of the campus community. The public is also invited.