By Margaret Steele, Belvoir EagleJune 9, 2011
They came to Fort Belvoir’s Long Parade Field in strollers, Radio Flyer and Little Tykes wagons, on bicycles and on foot.
They came as Families, girlfriends and couples to spend their Friday evening enjoying the Army’s Twilight Tattoo, hosted on Belvoir by Col. John Strycula, garrison commander.
The Twilight Tattoo is an hour-long military pageant featuring Soldiers from The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” and is produced by the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.
Patrons experienced a glimpse into American history through performances by The U.S. Army Blues, vocalists from The U.S. Army Band Downrange, The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and The U.S. Army Drill Team.
Logan Holzgrefe, a 6-year-old kindergartner at Fort Belvoir Elementary School, said ahead of the event that she was ready to protect her 1-year-old sister, Logan’s, hearing from the cannon booms by cupping her hands over the toddler’s ears.
“I am excited to see the musical instruments and Soldiers fighting,” Logan said.
The two girls and their parents, Stacie and Maj. Jim Holzgrefe, had front-row, blanket seats at the second consecutive tattoo on Belvoir.
Stacie said this was the Family’s second time at the tattoo.
“We look really forward to it " especially with it being on Fort Belvoir,” she said.
Capt. Adolfo Phillips, came with his wife, Diane, their four children; and his visiting mother, Yolanda Phillips.
“I came because I wanted to see what it was about,” Diane said.
Hillary Phillips, 11, had to be convinced to attend with her Family.
“I wanted to chill out after SOLs (state academic tests),” the Belvoir Elementary fifth-grader said. “But, I am glad I came. It’s very patriotic to be here.”
Her 12-year-old sister, Jalynn, said the tattoo was interesting.
“I thought I would be just songs, and not maneuvers,” she said.
Their father added that his two sons, Gabriel, 6, and Trenton, 4, liked the event’s static displays that included a helicopter and a fire truck.
Robert and Elizabeth Schwenk were convinced by their neighbors in Mount Vernon to attend Belvoir’s event.
“Europe is free because of them,” Elizabeth, said with tears in her eyes, as she pointed to the Soldiers on the field. “This is what it’s all about.
“This really makes me so proud. American’s don’t know how blessed they are,” she said, adding that 20 years ago, she became a naturalized American citizen from Ireland. “I have such admiration for these kids, their Families … the spouses who keep those men and women going while they are out there fighting.”