EDINBURGH, Scotland -- The United States Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment, from Marine Barracks, Washington, performed for Queen Elizabeth II here, Aug. 5, in celebration of "Her Majesty The Queen's Golden Jubilee" during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Jubilee celebrates the 50th anniversary of the queen's coronation.
The 2002 Edinburgh Military Tattoo opened Aug. 2, and will continue through Aug. 24. Considered to be the most prestigious evening military celebration in the world, the annual tattoo draws approximately 800 performers, 250,000 visitors and 100 million television viewers worldwide. It is conducted on the Esplanade of historic Edinburgh Castle, the second most visited monument in Britain after the Tower of London.
"The Commandant's Own" performed as evening fell Aug. 5 on the hauntingly lit Castle Esplanade for the guest of honor, Queen Elizabeth II. Special guests in the audience also included the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James L. Jones, and the 30th Commandant, Gen. Carl E. Mundy Jr.
The Drum and Bugle Corps' musical program included "Berlioz's Fanfare" by Hector Berlioz, "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa, "New York, New York" by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and concluded with the Marines' Hymn. The crisp acoustics of the Castle Esplanade accentuated not only the precision of the musical group as a whole, but also the featured soloists within the group of Marines in red coats.
The crowd's ovation crested and subsided, and served as the transition from brilliant musical sounds to the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon's "silent thunder." The platoon emerged on the esplanade with its exhibition of disciplined and precise drill movements, equipped with glistening M-1 Garand rifles, bayonets fixed.
The Battle Color Detachment's performance was an expressive display of the traditional sights and sounds associated with the espirit de corps of the United States Marine Corps.
The detachment was not the only Marine Corps unit invited to perform during the Edinburgh Tattoo. The Albany Marine Band from Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Ga., also deployed to Scotland. The Albany Marine Band will deliver the traditional sounds of the U.S. Marine Corps to the masses gathered in Edinburgh for the entire duration of the tattoo.
The Battle Color Detachment returned to "8th and I" Aug. 8, to resume their scheduled weekly summer performances for the Evening Parade (every Friday) at Marine Barracks, and the Sunset Parade (every Tuesday) at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va.