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The Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo.

The Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

The Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo.

The Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Re-enactors perform at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo.

Re-enactors perform at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Re-enactors perform at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo.

Re-enactors perform at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

"Paul Revere" rides through a field at Joint Base Myer-Henderon Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015.

"Paul Revere" rides through a field at Joint Base Myer-Henderon Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Re-enactors storm the field at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo.

Re-enactors storm the field at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo.

Soldiers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

The Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo, representing various eras of history.

The Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo, representing various eras of history. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

The Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. Here, two members finish a fist bump.

The Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. Here, two members finish a fist bump. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo, representing various eras of history.

Soldiers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo, representing various eras of history. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo, representing various eras of history.

Soldiers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo, representing various eras of history. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers with The Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo.

Soldiers with The Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

A soldier with The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) throws his rifle to the back of the group during the Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015.

A soldier with The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) throws his rifle to the back of the group during the Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Re-enactors perform at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo.

Re-enactors perform at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Visitors to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall at the Twilight Tattoo in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015.

Visitors to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall at the Twilight Tattoo in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers dressed as World War I re-enactors march in front of spectators at Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015.

Soldiers dressed as World War I re-enactors march in front of spectators at Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Groups dance while a US Army soldier sings during the Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Fort Myer- Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015.

Groups dance while a US Army soldier sings during the Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Fort Myer- Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Re-enactors perform at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo.

Re-enactors perform at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers during the Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015.

Soldiers during the Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo, representing various eras of history.

Soldiers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015, as part of the Twilight Tattoo, representing various eras of history. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers dressed as Civil War re-enactors ride in front of spectators at Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015.

Soldiers dressed as Civil War re-enactors ride in front of spectators at Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on June 10, 2015. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

US Army soldiers dressed as Civil War re-enactors ride horses around a field at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hell in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, as part of the evening's Twilight Tattoo event.

US Army soldiers dressed as Civil War re-enactors ride horses around a field at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hell in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, as part of the evening's Twilight Tattoo event. (Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes)

ARLINGTON, Va. — A horse from the Caisson Platoon cantered past the crowd. The U.S. Army Drill Team performed with perfect synchronized movements. The U.S. Army Band, "Pershing's Own," left a feeling of excitement and wonder among the spectators.

It was Wednesday evening's Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, where students from around the country were among those who watched soldiers re-enacting various war periods in U.S. history.

The term "twilight tattoo" originated centuries ago in England as a bugle call to soldiers. Bartenders would know to "turn off the tap" at the local pub so soldiers could return to their bunks. Now it's a tribute to the United States, and to the sacrifices of its soldiers.

The Wasington-area tattoo started before World War II at then-Fort Myer, where the 3rd Cavalry Regiment held shows during the winter. It was revived in 1961 to highlight the ceremonial units.

Wednesday's show traced history.

One soldier rode a horse through the center of the field, acting as Paul Revere at the start of the Revolutionary War. Later came four more mounted soldiers, two dressed in grey uniforms and two in blue, representing the brother-against-brother battles of the Civil War.

The Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., is free and open to the public every Wednesday throughout the summer. The pre-ceremony starts at 6:45 p.m., and the show itself is at 7 p.m.

Email: tibbetts.meredith@stripes.com Twitter: @mjtibbs

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