May 31, 2010

Memorial Day, 2010
— Dave in Texas

Unknown But to God.jpg

"It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Also, DrewM sent me this today, a petition to name a U.S. Navy ship in honor of Lt. John W. Finn.

Also: A little closer to my neck of the woods, I believe this photograph of the 4th Infantry Division Memorial at Ft. Hood was taken this past Thursday. Something has been added.

5792.jpg


Posted by: Dave in Texas at 07:15 AM | Comments (44)
Post contains 167 words, total size 1 kb.

1 I posted this close to the end of the last thread a few minutes ago, but I want to repost it here because this is the newest one:

Just got back from laying flags and flowers on my grandparents graves. Grandfather fought in the pacific with VPB-104 on a B-24 as a ball turret gunner, grandmother drove trucks for the Marines out in California. I'd like to thank each and every man and woman who have served and continue to serve to keep us safe and strong and you morons and moronettes who have done the same. Thank you and god bless you.

Here's a video about The Tomb of Unknowns I found interesting. Talk about dedication to duty.

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?
21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is
the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time
and if not, why not?
He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path,he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.


5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes,
twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be
between 5' 10' an d 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.'

Other requirements of the Guard:

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb,
live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol
on or off duty for the rest of their lives.
They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and
cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way.
After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb.
There are only 400 presently worn.
The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their
lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come
to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.
Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery ... A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms
ready for guard duty.

ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD, AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC,
our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm.
On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, 'No way, Sir!' Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.


Posted by: Blazer at May 31, 2010 12:13 PM (t72+4)


Posted by: Blazer at May 31, 2010 07:28 AM (t72+4)

2 Amen.

Posted by: Ktnxbai at May 31, 2010 07:29 AM (FhtYJ)

3 Signed the petition, though its a no-brainer for me. I would have anyway though after reading of his courage under fire. Dewayne Finn

Posted by: Dewayne Finn at May 31, 2010 07:37 AM (7G8hn)

Posted by: Old Hippie Vet at May 31, 2010 07:48 AM (3IZGh)

5 Amazing and outrageous BS on Fox right now. Wounded soldier was evacuated from war zone. While recuperating in a hospital in the States they sent him a bill for $3000 for gear that was left on the battlefield when he was medivaced.

Posted by: Vic at May 31, 2010 07:56 AM (6taRI)

6 Two changes have been made to the sentences quoted from the Gettysburg address. The first is insignificant: "nobly advanced" has been changed to "nobly carried on." The second is that the phrase "under God" has been omitted between "this nation" and "shall have a new birth of freedom."

Posted by: trueblue at May 31, 2010 07:57 AM (jjfGy)

7 Thank you for posting this. It was special to see the changing of the guard a couple of years ago. God bless them everyone and their families that have given so much to keep this country free. Now if we can keep it that way. (I don't even want to sully their memory by mentioning what is happening to our country now).

Posted by: Goldi at May 31, 2010 08:03 AM (rsOPT)

8 Thank you to those who gave all. 

Posted by: Joe at May 31, 2010 08:04 AM (0Gde6)

9

This still works:

 

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Posted by: Joe at May 31, 2010 08:06 AM (0Gde6)

10 Excellent post, my friend.

This video of the Honor Guard is fantastic.

Posted by: Andy at May 31, 2010 08:15 AM (NjN7i)

11 Would that we had such leaders today who could make such a short and moving speech, and mean it.

Posted by: sherlock at May 31, 2010 08:21 AM (thr9V)

12

Raymo, Jack, Jimmie, you are not forgotten, nor are your other fallen comrades.

I will never forget.

Posted by: solitary knight at May 31, 2010 08:22 AM (wrn6e)

13

Thanks for posting, Blazer.

 

And thanks to everyone who gave their lives in the service of protecting our country and our liberties.

Posted by: NC Ref at May 31, 2010 08:23 AM (+KIGi)

14 Don't know who to contact about this, but some sort of spam is jamming up PA's Memorial Day Vignettes post.  I don't know if it can be erased or not, but nothing can post after it (my "completed" line was still running when I left the post)....

Posted by: Teresa in Fort Worth, TX at May 31, 2010 08:32 AM (s7fpA)

15

Thank you for posting. Dave in Texas.

I had the privilege of seeing the Tomb of the Unknowns a few years ago with a beloved friend.  He was so knowledgeable about the ceremony and the traditions surrounding it, but when the actual changing of the guard was conducted, I was struck dumb by the precision, ceremony, respect, and honor shown.  I hope to take my kids there soon.

Posted by: kevlarchick at May 31, 2010 08:34 AM (HbAIT)

16

"Here rests in honored glory

An American Soldier

Known but to God"


~The Tomb of

The Unknown Soldier

Posted by: Blazer at May 31, 2010 08:34 AM (t72+4)

17 There was a fantastic documentary a few years back about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and 5 men who were listed as missing in action during W.W. 2. The stories of each were moving in their own right with the common thread that each man may very well be interred there. G-d bless the memory of all who perished keeping us free. RIP PFC Harry Goldenberg K Co., 105th Inf., 27th Inf. Div. Killed in action, on Saipan, July 1st, 1944

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at May 31, 2010 08:53 AM (9Cooa)

18

WHO AM I? CRIES THE WARRIOR

 

A lone sentry paces the walkway,

And many tourists come to see.

For “I am the Infantry, Queen of Battle,”

And you can, “FOLLOW ME!”

 

The OLD GUARD stands lonely vigil,

Twenty-four hours a day.

Through sweltering heat or freezing rain,

While in my marble Tomb I lay.

 

I am called the Unknown Soldier,

For no one knows just who I am.

I went ‘over there’ to fight ‘the great war’,

When called by my Uncle Sam.

 

Now in the gardens of stone, when all is quiet,

Shadows cast by light of the moon.

I search each headstone every night,

Of soldiers lost too soon.

 

For I was called to serve my country,

On a far and distant shore.

Now while others rest, my spirit roams,

And will forever more.

 

As my spirit walks the gardens,

Row after row after row.

Some of these names I recognize,

And others, I just don’t know.

 

Was I a farmer in Nebraska,

Or a lumberjack in Maine?

Did I die quickly, thru the mercy of GOD,

Or did I agonize in pain?

 

Did I lead soldiers into battle,

Or did I follow those who led?

To so many questions the answers I seek,

As I walk amongst the dead.

 

Who am I? Cries the warrior,

With faded medals upon his chest,

Who am I? Cries the warrior,

While those in the gardens rest.

 

‘Here rests in honored glory, An American soldier, Known but to GOD.’

These words in my Tomb cut so deep.

And as the lonely sentry walks his post,

The known of Arlington sleep. 

 

by Don Burch, US Army, retired.

Posted by: roamingfirehydrant at May 31, 2010 08:53 AM (vMSeJ)

19

Visited the Tomb. Peaked around the corner where the Guard exits. Stuck my head around to see a sign that reminded the Guard among other things [my words here] not to be angered by disrespect to the Memorial by ignorant citizens and tourists who don't know any better.

Then I went back out to wait for the Changing of the Guard and looked at those assembled there. Saw the reason for those particular words.

Looked at myself on a hot Washington day. Almost left because I thought I was no better than the rest, inflicting additional pain on those pledged to honor. A desecration.

Humbling.

Posted by: Mr. Barky at May 31, 2010 09:30 AM (Zyla9)

20 Thank you for this excellent post, Dave in Texas, and thank you, Blazer, for yours about the Tomb of the Unknowns!

Heartfelt gratitude to all here who have served and are serving, and to those who have lost family members in service to this great country. 

For the fallen, these words from Longfellow: "They are dead; but they live in each Patriot's breast, And their names are engraven on honor's bright crest."



Posted by: Theresa D at May 31, 2010 09:54 AM (iGCmo)

21 Not to be a party pooper, but you really need to pay attention to what you are posting.
Number 1:

"They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb,
live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol
on or off duty for the rest of their lives."

This is absolute BS.

The normal tour is 1 year.
Nobody lives underneath the tomb, that's a ridiculous rumor that doesn't take much to figure out. They live at Fort Meyer if they live in the barracks.
The alcohol comment is so ridiculous I don't want to address it, but, really?


Want the truth?
Go here:
http://www.tombguard.org/FAQ.html

Posted by: 1idvet at May 31, 2010 10:05 AM (iMyIW)

22
This is absolute BS.

The normal tour is 1 year.
Nobody lives underneath the tomb, that's a ridiculous rumor that doesn't take much to figure out. They live at Fort Meyer if they live in the barracks.
The alcohol comment is so ridiculous I don't want to address it, but, really?


Want the truth?
Go here:
http://www.tombguard.org/FAQ.html

Posted by: 1idvet at May 31, 2010 03:05 PM (iMyIW)






Thanks for the link. I should have been more careful in posting the first thing I clicked on. Seems there are a lot of urban legends out there concerning the Honor Guard and the Tomb of the Unknowns also.

Posted by: Blazer at May 31, 2010 10:08 AM (t72+4)

23 Posted by: Blazer at May 31, 2010 12:13 PM (t72+4)

I watched Gardens of Stone a number of years ago and did a little research into the Tomb. The information you provided about the Guardians is only partially correct (I got fooled by it too).

The Tomb Guards may drink and swear, though not on duty.

The following links should be of interest.

http://www.tombguard.org/FAQ.html

or

www.arlingtoncemetery.org

I've been to D.C. twice and both times I made it a point to visit Arlington. I didn't serve in the military and felt an obligation to pay my respects to those that did. It was, and is, a humbling experience and one which every American should make at least once in their lives (preferably with a son or daughter in tow).

Also, the history of Arlington is fascinating.

To all you who served and all those who didn't make it back, God Bless, God Speed, and THANK YOU for your service!




Posted by: Bill at May 31, 2010 10:08 AM (UrSM7)

24 #22

Been there done that. Which has made me a bit more vigilant with it.

Still the right spirit though.


Posted by: 1idvet at May 31, 2010 10:26 AM (iMyIW)

25 Carentan O Carentan BY LOUIS SIMPSON Trees in the old days used to stand And shape a shady lane Where lovers wandered hand in hand Who came from Carentan. This was the shining green canal Where we came two by two Walking at combat-interval. Such trees we never knew. The day was early June, the ground Was soft and bright with dew. Far away the guns did sound, But here the sky was blue. The sky was blue, but there a smoke Hung still above the sea Where the ships together spoke To towns we could not see. Could you have seen us through a glass You would have said a walk Of farmers out to turn the grass, Each with his own hay-fork. The watchers in their leopard suits Waited till it was time, And aimed between the belt and boot And let the barrel climb. I must lie down at once, there is A hammer at my knee. And call it death or cowardice, Don’t count again on me. Everything’s all right, Mother, Everyone gets the same At one time or another. It’s all in the game. I never strolled, nor ever shall, Down such a leafy lane. I never drank in a canal, Nor ever shall again. There is a whistling in the leaves And it is not the wind, The twigs are falling from the knives That cut men to the ground. Tell me, Master-Sergeant, The way to turn and shoot. But the Sergeant’s silent That taught me how to do it. O Captain, show us quickly Our place upon the map. But the Captain’s sickly And taking a long nap. Lieutenant, what’s my duty, My place in the platoon? He too’s a sleeping beauty, Charmed by that strange tune. Carentan O Carentan Before we met with you We never yet had lost a man Or known what death could do.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at May 31, 2010 10:31 AM (9Cooa)

26

via Andy.

To fallen soldiers let us sing,
Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing,
Our broken brothers let us bring
To the Mansions of the Lord.

No more bleeding, no more fight,
No prayers pleading through the night,
Just divine embrace, eternal light
In the Mansions of the Lord.

Where no mothers cry and no children weep,
We will stand and guard though the angels sleep,
Oh through the ages safely keep
The Mansions of the Lord.

- Randall Wallace

 

Posted by: Dave in Texas at May 31, 2010 10:56 AM (Wh0W+)

Posted by: Dave in Texas at May 31, 2010 10:58 AM (Wh0W+)

28 Oh, gosh, DiT, that second pic you added of the Ft. Hood memorial made me a little weepy.  Very moving, thanks for posting it.

Posted by: Peaches at May 31, 2010 11:00 AM (fwW9R)

29 Peaches, I'm with you, I've been weepy all day.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at May 31, 2010 11:11 AM (RZ8pf)

30
  Always a day that brings a mixture of sorrow and swelling pride.


  Often said, I wore the uniform with PRIDE, yet when I see these young men and women serving today, I feel humbled. It would be an immeasurable honor to wear it again with them.

   So to all who made the ultimate sacrifice my undying gratitude and prayers go with you. And to those who have served, or are current, my heartfelt thanks.

Posted by: irongrampa at May 31, 2010 11:11 AM (ud5dN)

31 We just had the annual flyover of some big-ass WWII military plane, it's so cool, comes out of SM airport and flies right by my window then takes a right at the coastline and buzzes Venice Beach.  I forget what it is, but it's impressive.  Looks too big and unwieldy to even get off the ground, but it does.

Posted by: Peaches at May 31, 2010 11:21 AM (fwW9R)

32

Does anyone share my view that the Wall and theTomb of the Unknown are infinitely more noble and classy than the maudlin and infantilized statue of a child comforting a grieving soldier?

Posted by: effinayright at May 31, 2010 11:25 AM (lQRmV)

33

Of course effin.

We're looking at the teddy bear.

Which may not be infinitely more noble, nobility and honor are a different thing from personal and painful.

Both born from sacrifice. Right?

Posted by: Dave in Texas at May 31, 2010 11:28 AM (Wh0W+)

34 effinayright, I think there's room for all of it.  I had a poor opinion of the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial when it was in the design/build phase.  Then I visited it.  Almost overwhelming.  I was bawling by the time I got ten steps along that wall and it took a very long time to compose myself afterwards.

But for a huge base in Texas where the families are?  I don't see any problem with something that our soldiers' children can more easily understand and relate to.

Posted by: Peaches at May 31, 2010 11:29 AM (fwW9R)

35

Then I went back out to wait for the Changing of the Guard...

It's never really been the same since the Obama administration  started using Pampers.

Posted by: effinayright at May 31, 2010 11:39 AM (lQRmV)

36

34 effinayright, I think there's room for all of it.

Point taken.

For me, The Wall is what a war memorial should be: minimalist design conveying solemnity, with a maximum emotional wallop.  

 

 

 

 

Posted by: effinayright at May 31, 2010 11:48 AM (lQRmV)

37

effinayright, yes, I take your point.

 

We were looking at the teddy bear.

 

That's really the point.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at May 31, 2010 12:28 PM (Wh0W+)

38 For me, The Wall is what a war memorial should be: minimalist design conveying solemnity, with a maximum emotional wallop. 

The Wall was an utterly new concept in memorials at the time it was designed--previous memorials were ornate affairs with allegorical animals and flowers and generals on horseback and Latin mottos. Designed to represent the aesthetics and beliefs of their time, and to reflect the reasons the war took place--Civil War memorials and WWI memorials were not interchangeable.  Thematic copies of the Vietnam Memorial strike me as half-assed--"OK, election coming up, let's get a memorial--no time to solicit proposals, just get a slab of granite and put their names on it.  Hey, we can get a matching slab for the next war!"

Our current age is superficial and adolescent, and the tastemakers and policymakers have both declared that the enemy cannot even be named.  The Ft. Hood memorial reflects this. 

Posted by: HeatherRadish at May 31, 2010 01:17 PM (EHlxw)

39

I think the Ft. Hood memorial is meant to be a more "personal" memorial; it will resonate much more with the families who serve on that particular base.  And the key word is "families" - for so many of the children on the base that awful day, it had to be a terribly frightening thing; this particular statue might help them to feel like they have some control in that they can help to comfort their parents.

If it were a national monument, it would perhaps be too trivial, but in the more intimate setting of a military base, this probably works better for those involved.  However, I have never been in a military family, so I could be way off here.....

Posted by: Teresa in Fort Worth, TX at May 31, 2010 01:47 PM (s7fpA)

40 27 Duh, forgot the link.
Damn Dave in Texas, got something in my eye. Thanks for sharing that.

Posted by: Noah Bawdy at May 31, 2010 02:34 PM (1WKuC)

41 I wish you had a picture of the Korean memorial. When you walk past the polished slabs of granite, it's like their eyes follow you. It really is touching to walk past it. Then, of course, the wonderful soldiers as they advance across the field is something else.

Posted by: Goldi at May 31, 2010 03:23 PM (rsOPT)

42 I went up to Gettysburg today, for the parade and the service in the cemetery. We stood there on Federal property, sang God Bless America, and prayed two prayers mentioning God and Jesus Christ, led by a Navy chaplain. I hope that made some commie ACLU shitbag wet themselves and weep. The keynote speaker was the commandant of the Army War College. The theme of his remarks: "America: Fuck Yeah" -- more or less. Awesome.

Posted by: Chainsaw Chimp at May 31, 2010 04:09 PM (k4bdL)

43

It  might be helpful to those asking questions or making comments about the 4ID memorial at FT Hood, to know that the sculpture was done by an Iraqi artist.  It represents an Iraqi child thanking the Soldier for his and our sacrifice.

It's not my cup of tea, and neither is the 1st Cavalry Division memorial, but they are what they are.  If you want to change the design, join the Army get promoted to Division Commander and you can change it. 

Posted by: Outlaw13 at June 01, 2010 10:17 AM (jgXKG)

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