By George Markfelder, JFHQNCRMDWJune 13, 2012
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. (June 12, 2012) -- The Army's week-long celebration of its 237th birthday continued as Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler hosted this week's Twilight Tattoo, Tuesday evening.
At a reception earlier in the evening, McHugh thanked audience members for assisting the Army celebrate its birthday on June 14th and for supporting the Soldiers, civilians and family members of the U.S. Army by watching the evening performance.
"It should, and I would suggest respectfully tonight it is as well, an opportunity to say 'thank you,'" McHugh said. "Thank you to the American people for the incredible support they have provided us for more than two and one quarter centuries."
The U.S. Army Military District of Washington Twilight Tattoo production combines the precision and discipline of Old Guard Soldiers with the orchestral sounds of The U.S. Army Band. This free and open to the public performance is scheduled to entertain thousands more every Wednesday night at Fort Myer during the summer till the end of August.
The history of Twilight Tattoo began more than 300 years ago as British troops were summoned from the warmth and hospitality of local pubs by a bugle and drum call to return to the barracks. The familiar tune told tavern owners "doe den tap toe," or "time to turn off the taps." The troops knew the call to mean "taps off," and minutes later they were back in their tents.
The modern-day call is known as "Tattoo" and during basic training the call signals the time to quiet down and hit the bunks. For MDW, the call serves as a tribute dedicated to the vitality of our nation and to the sacrifices of those who forged America into the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is for our forefathers and fellow Americans that MDW proudly presents "Twilight Tattoo."
The U.S. MDW Twilight Tattoo can trace its own history back to the years before World War II. Then, on the grounds of Fort Myer in Arlington, Va., the 3rd Cavalry Regiment held military shows during the winter months. The Military District of Washington revived the traditional show in 1961 to showcase the talents of its ceremonial units.
As Twilight Tattoo grew in popularity, the Army adapted the show, its location and the time of year it was performed to fit the growing needs of the American people. Settling on performances in the nation's capital throughout the summer months, has allowed thousands of audience members to experience the ceremony and pageantry of the United States Army.
Check the U.S. Army Military District of Washington's Twilight Tattoo website for schedule details at http://twilight.mdw.army.mil/ (see related links).