The 2018 Virginia International Tattoo:
Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
Honoring, Remembering, and Celebrating Medal of Honor Recipients
Each year’s Tattoo is different, with new performers from across the globe, new themes of honor and patriotism, and new sights and sounds to amaze you. In 2018 we will have an extraordinary cast of hundreds of performers from 8 nations — including audience favorites such as Norway’s Band and Drill Team of His Majesty the King’s Guard, the brilliantly costumed dancers and drummers of the Republic of Korea Traditional Army Band, and new this year, Poland’s Republic Border Guard, with their iconic instruments and costumes reflecting centuries of tradition. As the centerpiece of the 2018 Virginia International Tattoo, we will offer a moving tribute to Medal of Honor recipients. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. There are 75 living recipients as of this printing.
The term "tattoo" derives from the cries of the 17th and 18th century Dutch innkeepers, who, as the fifes and drums of the local regiment signaled a return to quarters would cry, "Doe den tap toe!" -"Turn off the taps!" The sound of the "taps" caused the innkeeper's customers to depart and return to their barracks. The word "tattoo" evolved over time, and refers to what developed as a ceremonial performance of military music by massed bands today.