RCMP SUNSET CEREMONY
Presenting the Colors
Since 1983, the RCMP Training Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan has performed this ceremony referred to as a “Military tattoo” – an old British military tradition dating back to the 19th century. The term “tattoo”, derived from an old Dutch word that means “turn off the taps”, comes to us from the 17th century when a soldier’s life was strictly controlled by his regiment. The daily routine of a military post was signaled by the beat of a drum. At sunset, a lone drummer was sent into the streets of the town to beat out a tattoo. This was the signal for the tavern owners to close down for the night, and for military personnel to return to the post. Once they had returned, the flag was lowered in a ceremony marking the end of another day.
This 45 minute event includes the firing of a cannon, a Troop drill display, the lowering of the flag with the playing of military music, and the March Past. For the occasion, troop members are dressed in their traditional scarlet tunics and period customs, lending character to the ceremony. Horses and riders are also present, as is Safety bear, to entertain the spectators. Summer 2002
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