By Michael Norris, Pentagram Assistant EditorApril 9, 2012
WASHINGTON (April 9, 2012) -- It's coming. That's right, the U.S. Army Military District of Washington Twilight Tattoo, long a fixture at Fort McNair, is moving to the Fort Myer portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall for the summer. As part of an extended tattoo season, the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and The U.S. Army Band, "Pershing's Own," will hold its sunset military pageant consecutive Wednesdays on Summerall Field from April 25 to June 27 and on Whipple Field from July 11 to August 29.
The Twilight Tattoo provides a glimpse into American history through an hour-long performance by The Army Blues, vocalists from Downrange, The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and The U.S. Army Drill Team.
"It's our honor to bring the Twilight Tattoo series to historic Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Our Army has been the strength of the nation for almost 237 years, and we appreciate the opportunity to share our history, and the talents of our Soldiers, with those we serve -- the American people," said Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington commander. "The Soldiers of the Military District of Washington represent the Army's finest. The show not only highlights our past, but more importantly, it represents the future and our Army's role in decisive action in the defense of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans."
Ron McLendon, chief of community relations for Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington Public Affairs, said the plan is to move the tattoo to the Fort Myer portion of JBM-HH for the foreseeable future in an effort to reach new audiences and broaden community outreach.
He said the tattoo season extended from May through June on Fort McNair for the past five years, but that it used to go all the way through August nearly 15 years ago. In past years, the Twilight Tattoo has held seasonal performances along the National Mall and at the White House Ellipse in the nation's capital.
"We want to run it as long as we can on Fort Myer so more people can come and hear the Army story," McLendon said.
U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters Henderson Hall holds its own historical pageant, known as the Sunset Parade, on the grounds of the Iwo Jima Memorial just outside the gates of JBM-HH through the summer on consecutive Tuesdays, June 5 through Aug. 15. It is hoped that audiences from that event will appreciate the Twilight Tattoo.
"We are thrilled about the opportunity to offer the Twilight Tattoo performances to our great neighbors in Arlington County," said Leah Rubalcaba, JBM-HH community relations officer. "There is something to be said about having this outstanding military pageant right in your own backyard. The performances will provide us with the opportunity for continued outreach in the county -- not only to the great partners we work with on an ongoing basis, but also to reach out to new resident groups and organizations. This can only serve to help strengthen our community ties."
During the April 25 to Aug. 29 season, no tattoos will be held on the Wednesdays of June 13 or July 4, although there will be a tattoo on Tuesday June 12. The Twilight Tattoo begins at 7 p.m. but static displays relating to military history will be on view beginning at 6 p.m. and pre-ceremony pageantry begins at 6:45 p.m. All events are open to the public.