Taps for this year’s Twilight Tattoo

Our Twilight Tattoo has been scrapped, and Washington, DC is to blame.

Representatives of the Fort Hamilton Army Base said this week that the event, which had been planned for June 12, has been canceled due to a scheduling conflict.

And this year, it seems events in the nation’s capital trump those here in Brooklyn.

“The army is a big army,” said John Manley, a spokesman for the base, who pointed out that mid-June is particularly busy because of Flag Day and the army’s birthday, both on June 14. “We were working to do it around these events, but unfortunately, we came into conflict with some other events in the D.C. area.”

The Twilight Tattoo is ceremonial roll call of conflicts in which American soldiers have taken part, beginning with the Continental army and ending with the current conflicts in the Middle East. Performers — who dress in period-appropriate uniforms — are drawn from the Third U.S. Infantry Regiment, aka, The Old Guard, and The U.S. Army Band, fondly known as “Pershing’s Own.”

According to the U.S. Army Band’s Web site, Twilight Tattoo performances will take place in Washington, DC on June 2, 9, 23 and 30.

Thankfully, according to Manley, the Tattoo will be back next year.

“It’s a wonderful way for us to provide something to the community because the community supports us in so many ways, and we love to support the community,” he said. “Unfortunately, this happened, but we are already planning for next year.”

Brooklyn’s 2011 Tattoo, Manley said, will be an extra special one, because it will be the first since 2001 to be held on the fort. In recent years, the event has been held elsewhere because of ongoing construction in the area where the Tattoo had been performed, said Manley, but, next year, the new field will be completed and able to be used.

The origins of the Twilight Tattoo date back some three centuries to a time when the sound of a bugle and drum call meant it was time for British soldiers to leave local watering holes and return to their barracks.

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