Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th, Reveille and Revelry

Today's words come from a bit of confusion. Again, confusion on my part, of course! Here's the story.

We just attended Eddie's graduation from Military Police Training, which included a family day where the soldiers had the opportunity to show their families around the base. At one point, we were outside, looking at some military vehicles they had gathered in a small park area and, out of the blue, a bugle call began. Eddie immediately stopped to salute until the music stopped.Well, we had never experienced  this before, so we needed explanations! He proceeded to fill us in and this is basically what that is all about:

Each day, there are three "ceremonies" that take place:

Reveille:
signifies the beginning of the official duty day, and the raising of the flag.  

Retreat:

signifies the end of the official duty day and the lowering of the flag.
 
Taps:

began as a signal for lights out at the end of the day, although now it's also used for funerals and memorial services


For each ceremony, all soldiers are expected to stop and salute the flag or salute in the direction of the music until the music stops. Civilians are expected to stop and place their hand over their heart. And all traffic is stopped.

To the ordinary person, this probably seems silly. (We were certainly confused!) But, when you are there, and are a part of it, it's very moving. And it made me think  about the lack of "ceremony" in most of our lives and how much better it might be if we had a little bit of that, or at least a reminder of that, every day. Sure we have "ceremony" at certain times- weddings, funerals, religious services, etc., but these things happen once a year, once a month, once a week- maybe. Don't you think it would be a good thing if we all had certain times of the day, every day, where we had to stop and  pay respect to, remember and  honor someone or something?  A time where we are all on the same page at the same time. Think about the positive changes that  might bring about. Especially now, with most people trying to do three things at one time for most of the day, every day. Hmmm.... I think it would be good.


Eddie, my dad and C. during "Retreat". *photo by Alicia Marie
Anywho...enough seriousness!! You are probably wondering where the "revelry" part is going to come in on this little rant of mine. And I'll explain, even though I'm going to thoroughly embarrass myself. Well.... when Eddie was talking about reveille, I thought he said 'revelry'. haha! So, when I looked it up, I assumed I would find a description of a military tradition. Nope. Wrong word!! Revelry is " lively festivities, usually involving the consumption of a large amount of alcohol". Oh,my! For those of you who don't know me, I have been known to have more than my share of "air-head" moments, so I'll just add this one to my list!

Anyway, I thought it was funny that the confusion led to a bit of irony. Today is July 4th, a day that is all about paying respect, honoring and remembering. And how do many of us do this? By having lively festivities involving large amounts of alcohol, of course! So, you see, there is a connection between the two words after all. At least in my world!  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it :)

Have a great 4th of July!!   Juli

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