Monday Maritime Matters: Memorial Day 2010

May 31st, 2010 by xformed

The day was perfect. Relatively cool by Florida standards and clear. Plenty of shade under the old oak tress next to the Bay Pines Cemetery. 3000 chairs were put out, as 2500 last year wasn’t enough. The Boy Scouts in attendance still were busy pulling out more chairs as the ceremony began @ 1000. Veterans and family members and friends/supporters filled the area, with many obviously long time friends, and others just greeting those around them and making new ones.

Representative Bill Young (R-FL) gave the speech, honoring those who had given their all so we could all come to such a celebration by choice, and not as demanded by a government such as that of North Korea. He spoke of the many cemeteries around the planet, where US service personnel remain to this day, buried in the countries where they fought to ensure freedom for us and others.

I took the opportunity to meet some interesting pieces of history. These three Marine vets had seen many things:

I was introduced to Major Lindbloom, USAAF, a B-17 pilot who was shot down over Czechoslovakia and spend 6 months in a POW camp. He stayed with the damaged plane long enough to ensure it cleared a town and crashed into the forest instead. I’m told the town placed a monument to him to commemorate his act of selflessness.

A Marine near me, with miniature jump wings on his ballcap noting “Iwo Jima Survivor” had been with the Raiders in the Soloman Islands, a unit deactivated, then he was placed in the 5th Marine Division, along with his shipmates from the Raider Battalion, for their combat experience. On Day 4, he looked up after a mortar attack to check on his men and one more rounds came in and ended his combat career. He’s become the accidentally appointed historian of the Para-Marines and has plenty of pictures and files he and his wife are scanning and placing on the web.

On Sunday, I walked among the headstones and read many names and dates and annotations. This one (sorry for the cell phone picture quality), caught my attention, so I’ll place it here for the history of it:

Clarence F Swanson

Chales F Swanson headstone, Bay Pines Cemetery
Cox US Navy PVT Marines
WWII 9/29/1909 – 6/29/1997

Then there was the Navy Chaplin who spent time with the Marines and Army, and now is a disabled vet, the man who worked on F8U Crusaders, and the one who was on destroyer tenders in the Pacific.

All with the backdrop of the 29.166 American flags placed on the graves in the well trimmed grass nearby to compliment stories of men who didn’t make it, or have since passed away. It was fitting for the day.

Category: Air Force, Army, History, Marines, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy, Supporting the Troops | Comments Off on Monday Maritime Matters: Memorial Day 2010

A Day That Changed the Course of History

June 6th, 2009 by xformed

June 6th, 1944.

Young men did what was asked of them.

The odds were against them.

The enemy prepared for this event, and even if the moment caught them off guard, they responded with the viciousness of combatants under siege.

What lives were ended, what future family lines were extinguished that day, specifically that day?

Of those who have come home to tell the stories, they are now leaving us.

When their voices are silenced in death, only the historians remain to craft the stories untold.

I was very fortunate to have met and become a friend of Jim, Sr.  He was the one person in my life, who had actually been across the beaches, albeit in the air, but without the benefit of a throttle of his own.  He had lift and gravity to work to succeed.  At his funeral, I found out his unit suffered an 87% casualty rate.  Over all, I knew the WWII glider pilots had a 60% death rate.  His unit, the 442nd Troop Carrying Group, took more than the “average” share of loss.

Jim Helinger Flying

He departed this world peacefully 5/4/2009 Oliver & Company Merlin and the War of the Dragons trailer Dark Honeymoon

Garden State movie download , but not before he had shared some of his experiences that day.

Please take time to capture any memories of these men, who most often do not consider themselves barve, but ones who just followed their orders…to the end.  The Library of Congress has a Veteran’s History Project Hard Ball dvd .  Please help get the stories and pictures to this set of archives, so future generations of historians can tell of the bravery at a place called Normandy on the maps.

Category: Navy | Comments Off on A Day That Changed the Course of History

Memorial Day 2009: Map the Fallen Tribute to Iran and Afghanistan KIAs

May 25th, 2009 by xformed

Sean from San Francisco has used his geoscience education to create a Google Earth Map layer of those who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been at this for a few years now, and it now complete.

Helpmates divx

On Any Sunday dvdrip

The Return of a Man Called Horse divx

Orgazmo movie full

Amazon Women on the Moon movie

Take a minute and read of the research and connections to many organizations to indicate the home of record for each of the service men, and see the tribute it will create for their families and friends.

Fitting news for a day such as this, as we remember those who went before us and gave us the gift of continuing freedom beyond their time on this earth.

Category: Public Service | 1 Comment »

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