Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Visiting Arlington National Cemetery

It seemed very appropriate it being the Memorial Day weekend to visit Arlington National Cemetery.

More on Arlington:
The Army National Military Cemeteries, consisting of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia and Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., are under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army. The Secretary of the Army consolidated authorities and created the Executive Director position to effectively and efficiently develop, operate, manage and administer the program.

Arlington National Cemetery conducts between 27 and 30 funeral services each week day and between 6 and 8 services on Saturday. The grounds of Arlington National Cemetery honor those who have served our nation by providing a sense of beauty and peace for our guests. The rolling green hills are dotted with trees that are hundreds of years in age and complement the gardens found throughout the 624 acres of the cemetery. This impressive landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.

More from Arlington

The mast of the Maine which blew up in Havana Harbor

Remembering the Challenger.

No matter what direction you look all the tomb stones are in a straight line.

The Tomb of the Unknows

More on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.

The white marble sarcophagus has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classic pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. The six wreaths, three sculpted on each side, represent the six major campaigns of World War I. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words:

Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God

The Tomb sarcophagus was placed above the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. West of the World War I Unknown are the crypts of unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza.

More from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Kennedys' Graves Sites

Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Scooter Scourge

Scourge might be a bit over the top to describe this new trend but it's not too far off.

Scooters and dockless bikes have shown up in DC.

And they're something of an annoyance.

You can see part of the problem from these two pictures. The scooter was just left right in the middle of the sidewalk. The bikes take up even more space.

I don't have a problem with the scooters or the bikes. I have a problem with the people who ride them and have no common sense when they do.

Here's what's happening in cities around the country:
Cities are struggling to figure out how to manage transport options that aren’t built around personal cars. Where, exactly, are scooters supposed to be stored — should you have to pay for parking? Scooters left haphazardly on sidewalks and in front of doors are a serious impediment for wheelchairs and the elderly. (PSA: To not be a jerk, the correct way to park is at a bike stand or against a wall, away from pedestrians and entryways.)

And this:
Tensions are particularly high in San Francisco, a dense city that was also the first to encounter Uber. Scooters dominated a meeting Monday in City Hall as lawmakers, citing hundreds of citizen complaints, weighed how to regulate them.

“It is clear that many of these companies continue to build their corporate empires off a basic premise: making massive profit always trumps protecting the public, and innovation is only possible by cutting corners,” said Aaron Peskin, a city supervisor.

Having encountered these my problem is people drive too fast on them. They weave in between pedestrians. There is the expectation on the part of the scooter rider that pedestrians should get out of their way. When actually it's the scooter rider who needs to slow down and stay out of the way of pedestrians.

I had the same problem when Segways came along. Nothing more enjoyable walking down a cobbled stoned sidewalk in Georgetown and have to get out of the way of one of these things. After awhile I didn't. I got some dirty looks from the Segway guys but it was worth it. I'm going to start doing the same thing with the scooters. They can slow down.

I have a feeling that in a year or so most of these scooters will be long gone. The fad will have faded

Monday, May 28, 2018

The National Museum of the Marine Corps

A couple Fridays ago Stu and I went and saw The National Museum of the Marine Corps. It's located in Triangle, Virginia. It's about an hours drive from DC. It was very impressive. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

More about the museum:
The National Museum of the Marine Corps, under the command of Marine Corps University, preserves and exhibits the material history of the U.S. Marine Corps; honors the commitment, accomplishments, and sacrifices of Marines; supports recruitment, training, education, and retention of Marines; and provides the public with a readily accessible platform for the exploration of Marine Corps history.
  • The Museum collects and provides responsible stewardship for objects related to the history of the Marine Corps; interprets the history of the Marine Corps through public exhibitions, collections-based publications, and other public programming venues; conducts collections-based research and shares the results of that research through publications, exhibitions, and public programming; and develops educational materials and conducts education programs for educators, students, and families to increase their awareness of the history of the Marine Corps.
  • The Museum contributes to the recruitment, training, education, and retention of Marines by informing and inspiring visitors through exhibitions and other public programs; by providing a backdrop for recruitment initiatives and an understanding of what it takes to “make a Marine”; by hosting classes for the Training and Education Command; and by providing opportunities for continuing education.

Marines the Early Years — The American Revolution

A little on the gallery on the American Revolution:
This is the first of six historical galleries. The Continental Congress authorized two battalions of Marines on 10 November 1775. According to legend, Captain Samuel Nicholas began recruiting men on that date at Philadelphia's Tun Tavern. Visitors follow the Marines from their beginnings during the American Revolution on through the long years of a country divided by Civil War. As Thomas Paine said, "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered," but the first Marines did their part to win America's freedom from the British, usually from the fighting tops of ships. In early 1776, Nicholas led 234 Marines in their first amphibious landing in the Bahamas. This gallery portrays life aboard a fighting ship. Marines were not only expert riflemen, they were also good seamen, and they sailed to the "ends of the earth" fighting the enemies of the new republic. Weapons and tools of these first Marines, including muskets, swords, powder horns, and boarding axes, are displayed, along with art work and dioramas.

From Ted Williams to Landing Craft

More from the Museum

There are eight galleries to go through (they really use the space they have really well):

Legacy Walk
The Legacy Walk connects the various era galleries and is the main pathway through the Museum. For visitors with only a limited time to tour the museum, the Legacy Walk provides a quick introduction to more than two centuries of Marine Corps history. Dramatic vignettes bring to life scenes of Marines in action from colonial times through the current war on terror.

Making Marines
Follow new recruits from their induction through the 12 weeks of boot camp. This gallery explains how the Marine Corps transforms raw recruits from ordinary citizens into elite warriors. In Making Marines, visitors can experience a motivational speech from a Drill Instructor, heft a fully loaded pack, and test their aim on the M-16 Laser Rifle Range.

American Revolution
This gallery explores the first century of the Marine Corps from the creation of the Marine Corps at a tavern in Philadelphia by members of the Continental Congress through the combat actions of Marines on both sides of the American Civil War. Specific exhibits study the Marine’s role in the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the Corps’ efforts to combat pirates and slave traders on the high seas.

Global Expeditionary Force
First to Fight follows the Marines into Latin America and across the Pacific to the Far East as part of the expansion of American interests. This gallery also highlight’s the “President’s Own” – the USMC Band and its rise to international fame under the directorship of John Philip Sousa from 1880 to 1892.

World War I
During the spring and summer of 1918, the German Supreme Command planned to take Paris and win World War I. Standing in their way stood the USMC. The Marines fought the advancing Germans using everything from aircraft to their bare knuckles and succeeded in stopping the German advance - helping end the bloody carnage of World War I.

World War II
From the attack on Pearl Harbor to the occupation of the Japanese homeland, Uncommon Valor highlights the heroic efforts of Marines on the ground and in the air during World War II. The gallery is populated with period aircraft, tanks and weapons. Visitors board a Higgins Boat for their assault on Iwo Jima. An exhibit on the experience of American POWs closes the gallery with a very human look at the cost of war.

Korean War
Send in the Marines explores the “forgotten war” in Korea. Coming only five years after the end of World War II, the Korean War marked a watershed for the Marine Corps and saw the first use of USMC helicopters and jet powered aircraft in combat. Special exhibits explore the desperate defense of the Pusan Perimeter, the bold landings at Inchon, the bitter fight around the Chosin Reservoir, and the “see-saw” battles for control for the city of Seoul.

The Marine Corps fought in Vietnam from 1965 through 1975 – longer than in any other conflict. This gallery brings to life horrific scenes of close combat and small moments of compassion on the field of battle at such places as Howard’s Hill, Marble Mountain, Quang Nam, Khe Sanh, and Dong Ha. Wall murals and dioramas deliver stories about combat operations, significant contributions to the war, individual Marines, special units, morale, and air support.

Pictures from the Museum's Center

Iwo Jima Memorial in Legos