Graham Honored By Playing Taps At Arlington

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Roxy Rooker , Reporter

Graham Bentley, a junior at Grove City Christian, recently had the honor of playing Taps at Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, November 7th. Graham is in the Symphonic, Pep, Jazz, and Marching bands here at GCCS. He is also called to play with other specialty bands to play for them. He has performed in concerts since 5th grade and marching band programs since 8th. His dedication to the band program reflects in his playing. He plays every note with passion and purpose and fixes his errors in an effortless fashion. There is no doubt that Graham is musically talented.

Graham at the lobby of Arlington National Cemetery.
Graham with other performers

In an interview, Graham told me the origin of the song Taps. Originally it was called “Butterfield’s Lullaby” and played to let soldiers know that it was time for bed. It is now played at military funerals as symbolism for going to sleep on the battlefield.

 

Graham told me part of the process that he took in order to play at Arlington. He joined an organization called Taps for Veterans which is called upon to play in military funerals and ceremonies. The people in this organization come from all over the United States. There are people who come all the way from Alaska to Buffalo, New York! He gets many paid offers but often denies the money and plays for free in order to help out the family.

One of the coins Graham was awarded

Graham has played at many ceremonies with this organization. He got called on the play at Gettysburg, where Abe Lincoln gave the speech the Gettysburg address. On July 19th, 2020, Graham got to play Taps by himself as a part of an event called 100 Nights of Taps. He was the 19th person to play. And most recently, Graham got the honor of playing a version of Taps at Arlington Cemetery. This version is called Cascading Taps, in which all of the performers start playing the music at separate times. For playing at this event, Graham was gifted 3 collector coins with the words “Taps for Veterans” inscribed.

Graham truly is representing our school through his music and devotion. The GCCS family is proud to have such an accomplished student playing for a special cause.