By George Markfelder, JFHQNCRMDW August 2, 2012
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. (Aug. 1, 2012) -- Hundreds of local and international visitors to the National Capital Region watched the time honored military tradition of the "Twilight Tattoo" inside Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's Conmy Hall, in Arlington Va.
The show is produced by Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, commanding general of the Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and this week included honored guests from the Army Medical Strategic Leadership Program.
That program provides strategic-level training for senior International and U.S. military medical leaders in preparation for leadership challenges in coalition and alliance health service operations. The focus is on strategic healthcare during humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.
The show is normally performed outdoors but due to bad weather it was moved inside. It is a blending of precision and discipline of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) with the orchestral sounds of The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own."
This free and open to the public performance is scheduled for every Wednesday night for the remainder of August only, so plan on attending one of remaining shows before you have to wait until next year!
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. On the grounds of then-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/