About this time last year I was writing about attending the Netherlands Military Tattoo because it was the first big event we attended after settling into our new home, school, work schedules and such. The most exciting aspect of the performance I knew about going into the tattoo was the Military Dutch Bicycle Band–and they certainly did not disappoint–and there was so much more.
Because of the theme last year “...it looked for a moment like Les Miserables was getting ready to start, but it was a re-enactment set to music of the landing of Wilem I in his Netherlands kingdom 200 Years ago.”
With a year under my belt and the recently attended Prinsjesdag, different items stand out to me as I consider the taptoe (in Dutch) this year. 1) The police are always included. There is a national police force with horses, bands, and honor guards. So when you visit the ticketing page you see the discount options for Dutch active military, veterans, and police. 2) The international component of the extravaganza is impressive. The rifle drill team New Guard America and Oman’s Police band were special additions last year that added flavor just as this year’s groups no doubt will. 3) There is always so much to celebrate. I didn’t know much about the arrival of King Willem the First, but this year the themes include the 70th Anniversary of WWII Liberation, 350 yrs of the Dutch Marine Corps, and 200 years of the National Medal of Military Courage (Order of Willem).
Drum Corps will play an important part in the 2015 show, and as a former percussionist (youtube here) I wish we could attend. Alas, much changes after a year of settling in. We have Athletic Booster responsibilities, Cross Country, Basketball, and a Boy Scouts overnight event this weekend. Still, I wish the 900+ participants of the tattoo (including the Quantico Marine Corps Band from Virginia USA) all the best.
Kristin King is an author living the expat life in the Netherlands with her family.