To the Readers' Forum:
Saturday, May 19 was Armed Forces Day, a fitting time to celebrate by playing ''Taps'' in Arlington National Cemetery with 200 buglers, including George Raven of Sherman.
This special occasion marked the 150th anniversary of ''Taps'' and it is a good time to remind Chautauqua County residents that ''Taps'' was authored and first played by a Chautauqua County Union soldier, Oliver Willcox Norton.
Bugler Norton was born in Angelica and his family later moved to Wait Corners, near Sherman. His father was a Presbyterian minister who served a church in the Open Meadows area.
North attended school in Sherman where his sister Elizabeth (Libby) was part of a reading group that founded the Sherman Free Library.
Oliver Norton enlisted in the Erie regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers on April 21, 1861 and later served with the 17th New York Volunteers in the Union Army. As a regimental bugler, he ''created'' the famous ''Taps'' while experimenting with various bugle notes that were heard by his regimental commander who asked Norton to play these notes at the burial of fallen soldiers. Norton could not read music.
Interested readers can find quite a bit of information about Oliver Norton on the internet.
Philip J. Brunskill