Army Song Writer Salutes Service's Birthday At Twilight Tattoo
(June 25, 2009)
|FORT MYER, VA (ANS, June 18, 2009) - Harold W. Arberg, the man
who wrote the lyrics to the Army song, attended a special Army birthday edition
of the Twilight Tattoo Wednesday night before a capacity crowd of VIPs, World
War II veterans and schools students from around the country.|
The Army's most-decorated units performed Wednesday night at Conmy Hall on Fort
Myer. The U.S. Army Blues, part of the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" began the
evening with a medley of pop songs from yesterday and today, including hits from
the Jackson 5 and Rihanna. As the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment's (The Old Guard)
Honor Guard company, Alpha company, Continental Color Guard,
Commander-in-Chief's Guard and Fife and Drums Corps marched
onto the floor, the announcer gave a brief history of each
Soldiers stand at attention during "The Flag Story," a visual performance that
chronicles the conflicts the U.S. Army has been involved in since its creation
in June 1775. The story is part of the Twilight Tattoo, which was performed at
Fort Myer's Conmy Hall on June17, 2009.
The official party consisted of Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, Army Chief of
Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. and Sgt Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.
Arberg sat next to the official party, along with his wife Jane, and other
members of his family. |
Geren began by asking anyone in the audience who had served as a noncommissioned
officer to stand, and those who did were given a hearty round of applause.
"The year 2009 is the year of the noncommissioned officer," Geren said. "Tonight
we celebrate the birthday of the United States Army, but all year long, we're
celebrating ... the noncommissioned officer."
Geren spoke about how the legacies of American leaders such as Washington,
Jefferson and Lincoln were tied to the successes of the Army. Without the Army,
Washington and Jefferson would have been hanged as traitors, and Lincoln would
be known as the president who lost the union, Geren said.
The U.S. Army Drill Team performed first, moving their limbs and bayonet-tipped
1903 Springfield rifles in perfect sync with each other. The Fife and Drum Corps
were next, performing several tunes as they too moved in perfect symmetry with
one another, before closing their "set" with their signature tune, "Yankee
"The drum solos were amazing," said A.J. Cabello, who was visiting with his
school from California. "They were definitely my favorite part."
Next came "The Flag Story," a visual journey through America's conflicts, from
the Revolutionary War all the way to the current conflicts in the Middle East.
Soldiers from The Old Guard dressed in period costumes from each conflict, and
they came out as the announcer told the story of America at war.
The tattoo concluded with the traditional pass-in-review, where each unit passed
by the official party. The Arbergs joined Geren, Casey and Preston at the center
of the auditorium as each unit passed and saluted.
Soldiers bearing the flags of the 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto
Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas
Islands finished the pass-in-review, and each group in the audience applauded
loudly as their state passed by.
The ceremony concluded the way most Army ceremonies do, with the playing of the
Army song. It had special significance to Arberg, as the song he created is
still being sung so many years later.
"It just knocks me out to hear it performed so well in such a marvelous
setting," Arberg said. "I couldn't be happier."
Many of the groups in attendance made the Twilight Tattoo just one of the stops
on their tour through Washington, D.C., but for some, it will be their most
"This has been my favorite part of our trip so far," said Arturo Gaona of
California. "We're here until Friday, but it will be hard to top this."
Article and photo by Alex McVeigh
Pentagram newspaper at Fort Myer
from Army News Service
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