Saturday, May 27, 2006

Twilight Tattoo - Jefferson Memorial D.C.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!
We've been incredibly busy, but I want to make
sure to get these photos posted for you.

Last Wednesday evening, we went to see the
Fife & Drum Corp perform at the Twilight Tattoo
at the Jefferson Memorial.

The Tattoo comes from a 300 year old tradition of British troops
being summoned to return to their barracks by the call of bugles
and drums.

Now the United States Army Military District of Washington presents
this show to the public every year, on a series of Wednesday evening

We had special permission to accompany the Corp on their bus,
leaving from Fort Myer. We joined our daughter Brooke at their

Then we boarded their bus for the short drive into D.C. Nice ride!

This is our third Tattoo. Previously, they've always performed
on the Elipse in front of the White House. This year the venue
has been moved to the Jefferson Memorial. It makes for a dramatic
backdrop with the Washington Monument and White House in view, but
there is far less seating (on the steps of the Memorial).

If you're heading to Washington D.C. and would like to attend
in the next few weeks, be sure you get there before 6:30 p.m.
to nab a seat. The crowds have been so large, they've had to
turn people away.

The view from the bridge into Washington shows the top of the Jefferson over
the trees...

The Tattoo involves the Army Blues jazz band, singers, the FDC,
drill team, horses, flags from all 50 states...bascially it is
a mini-pagent that speaks to the history of the Army and all the
armed services and their defense of our country.

The Old Guard Fife and drum Corps is the only unit of its
kind in the United States Armed Forces. They are the Army's
official ceremonial unit and escort to the President.

When we arrived at the parking area, the fifers and
buglers separated to warm up before their performance...


And Buglers...

Members of the Drill Team were also preparing...

A casual moment with Brooke and Mark before we had
over to the Memorial...

Friend and fellow Fifer, affectionately known as "Kick-It",
merges history with the present! One if by land, Two if by sea?

Their approach to begin is from both sides
of the performance area. Here are the buglers standing
at the ready...

The FDC memorizes hundreds of pieces of music, that coordinates
with complex marching patterns. They also employ the original
marching style, which is quite formal and considerably
more strenuous than traditional marching.

We sat back and enjoyed (though I admit to tears
in my eyes as they accompanied our flag).

Brooke in her full regalia of the Colonial uniform. They
maintain a serious face throughout every performance!

The Drill Team is always impressive too...

I even managed to capture one of their many rifle
tosses! See it in the air over their heads?

History merges into today's challenges. This fierce warrior
cracked a small smile for the photo (but we won't tell!)

Even horses get into the act...

And the FDC helps close out the show with
the flags from all 50 states and territories...

The sun was setting as we walked back
to the bus. Beautiful views of the Potomac...

The Washington Monument at sunset is a site to behold.
Look very closely at the top of the monument. Can you
see the tiny red dot of light? There are two red lights
that blink in the monument at night. See if you can
find them...

I especially love this shot of the Washington Monument.
It seems a fitting way to end today's travel post.