On God’s Acre

arthur whitcomb

Arthur Whitcomb, Marine Corps bugler, played taps both for President Wilson’s funeral at the National Cathedral and for Calvin Coolidge, Jr., at Plymouth Notch, both in 1924.

Calvin Coolidge Jr., who died on July 7, 1924, was laid to rest in the family plot beside the places already selected for his parents and among his ancestors at Plymouth Notch.

His mother, Grace Coolidge, wrote to a friend shortly afterward:

“It is a beautiful spot and it was lovely the day we left little Calvin there…Before our train got to Ludlow there had been a thunderstorm shower which laid the dust and made everything green. As we stood beside the grave the sun was shining, throwing long slanting shadows and the birds were singing their sleepy songs. Truly, it seemed to me God’s Acre. There was a prayer, a few passages of scripture and two hymns, and the Mercersburg hymn which I have seen Calvin sing with the other boys at school and I could seem to hear and see him there. ‘Taps’ never sounded as it did there, echoing and reechoing from mountain to mountain. I came away with a ‘peace which passeth understanding,’ comforted and full of courage…”


The Mercersburg Hymn, arranged by F. H. Foster, Jr.

High tower above us her pillars,

In majesty crowning the hill;

She has faced the wild storm waves of years,

And bravely she faces them still.


Come, Mercersburg’s sons, and we’ll praise her;

The world will we tell of her fame,

Till down the long train of the ages,

Shall echo old Mercersburg’s name.


This world sweeping mightily onward,

Will whiten our heads with its years;

But ever we’ll meet Alma Mater,

With full hearts and loud swelling cheers.


Requiescat in pace, dear Calvin!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.