JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. (July 11, 2012) -- Audience members roared with excitement as Soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" performed during the Army Military District of Washington's "Twilight Tattoo" at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

Throughout the evening, "Pershing's Own" own invited members of the crowd on to the floor to sing and dance in front of hundreds of people, to give the audience the chance to be a part of the show. The event was hosted by Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, commanding general of MDW.

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.

"Twilight Tattoo" can trace its own history back to the years before World War II. At that time, 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 Washington, D.C., throughout the summer months, has allowed for thousands of audience members to experience the ceremony and pageantry of the United States Army.

Twilight Tattoo is free and open to the public. It is scheduled every Wednesday night, rain or shine at Joint Base Myer - Henderson Hall (Fort Myer) during the summer through the end of August.

Check the U.S. Army Military District of Washington's Twilight Tattoo website for schedule details and history of the "Twilight Tattoo" at http://twilight.mdw.army.mil/