It’s called taps. It was played twice on Memorial Day in Rogersville. Once to honor those from Hawkins County who made the ultimate sacrifice over the years to defend the freedoms that we all enjoy. It was played again at a flag retirement ceremony after the remembrance service. Every time I hear those 24 notes it takes me back to the day I heard the 21 guns and 24 notes played to honor my dad for his service to the country.

I am thankful for the hundreds that took the two hours out of their busy holiday to remember why we actually have it. And a special shoutout to those who organized the final ruck and executed the flag retirement ceremony. Job well done!

At the close of the flag retirement, a rendition of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” was played. He’s right — the flag still stands for freedom, and you can’t take that away. I hope the thousands who had more important things to do took a little bit of time to reflect on sacrifices made by members of our armed services over the years. After all, it is more than just “a long weekend.”

Well done, Rogersville and Hawkins County. God bless small town Tennessee.

Ralph Darnell


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