By Lori Ann Newman (USAG Fort Sam Houston)May 28, 2009
(FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas) -- A ceremony was held May 22 to designate Harry Wurzbach Road a road that connects Interstate 410 to Fort Sam Houston, as TAPS Memorial Boulevard.
Members of the community along with Maj. Gen. Russell Czerw, commanding general, Fort Sam Houston and Army Medical Department Center and School; Councilman John Clamp, District 10; Mayor-elect Julian Castro; Councilwoman Sheila McNeil, District 2 and Steve Spear, Commission of Veteran's Affairs gathered at St. Pius X Church and School, at the intersection of Harry Wurzbach and Urban Crest, to unveil the new road markers designating the honorary name.
"Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines wear our Nation's cloth and they don't expect anything, but if they receive a 'thank you' that's gracious enough for them and they very much appreciate that," said Czerw. "I'm not sure there is a better way to epitomize the words 'thank you,' than to designate Harry Wurzbach as TAPS Memorial Boulevard."
The Boulevard will run the length of what is Harry Wurzbach Road from NE Loop 410 to the gates of Fort Sam Houston.
The honorary name change was approved by the City Council May 7 and will be funded by District 10.
"I thought that we could do something in our city on this side of town to really honor our military, our veterans, our fallen Soldiers and this is the start," said Clamp.
The purpose of the honorary name designation is to honor the servicemembers who are interred at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery located off Harry Wurzbach Road.
"Taps" was chosen because it is the military bugle call that beckons people to remember those who served in the United States military.
"Taps" is sounded by the U.S. Military during flag ceremonies, wreath-laying ceremonies, military funerals and memorial services. It is usually played on a bugle or trumpet.
When asked what "Taps" means to him, Czerw said, "It means that every opportunity we have to honor a Soldier, we pay tribute to the sacrifice they made for all of us."
Union Army Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield, an American Civil War general, composed the bugle call in July 1862 after the Seven Days battles at Harrison's Landing near Richmond, Va.
The original version of "Taps" was solely instrumental, but as time went by several versions of lyrics have been adopted.
The Madison High School Lady Mavericks Guard and Maverick Guard Drill Team entertained the crowd performing even though there was a downpour of rain.
"I can think of no better way to honor our veterans buried at Fort Sam Houston than to rename this major route to their final resting place, as TAPS Memorial Boulevard," Spears said.
"What a way to remember the past, and look to the future home of Army medical that is soon to be the home of military medicine. It's an absolute great tribute," said Czerw.