Posts tagged ‘Arlington National Cemetery’

FRIDAY FOTO (January 14, 2022)

First Snow, Last Post.

(U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser / Arlington National Cemetery)

Snow falls in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia on January 3, 2022. This was the first snow of the year.

The holiday wreaths are placed on the graves during National Wreaths Across America Day in mid-December. During the annual event, nearly 38,000 volunteers place 257,000 wreaths at every gravesite, columbarium court column and niche wall column at Arlington National Cemetery

And yes, despite the cold and snow, the sentinels of “The Old Guard,” the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment maintained their solitary watch over America’s honored, unknown dead at Arlington.

 (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser / Arlington National Cemetery)

January 13, 2022 at 11:55 pm 5 comments

SHAKO: Marine Corps Turns 246: Veterans Day 2021; National Veterans/Military Families Month; National Native American Heritage Month

BUSY NOVEMBER.

November has long been a time of reflection for those in the U.S. military and those who care about them. November 10, marks the official birthday of the United States Marine Corps. November 11 is Veterans Day, the day Americans honor all of those who served in uniform. The Defense Department has declared November to be National Veterans and Military Families Month. November is also National Native American Heritage Month, and the Pentagon has honored the service of  American Indians and Alaska Natives who — from the Revolutionary War to present-day missions around the world — contribute greatly to national defense.

This post will focus of the two big days this week, and address National Veterans and Military Families Month, and National Native American Heritage Month next week.

UPDATES  with new photo and video

Success to the Marines.


Major Gen. Jason Q. Bohm, head of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, prepares to slice during the Cake Cutting Ceremony for the Marines’ 246th Birthday at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia on November 4, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Jennifer Sanchez)

Marines all around the globe celebrate November 10 as the birth of the Corps in 1775, when the 2nd Continental Congress authorized the formation of two battalions of Marines — more than seven months before the United States declared their independence.

Captain (later Major) Samuel Nichols — considered the Corps’ first commandant — advertised in and around Philadelphia for “a few good men” and signed them up at Tun Tavern in that city. Those early Marines first saw action in the Bahamas in a March 3, 1776 raid on New Providence Island, to capture naval supplies from the British.

New Providence Raid, March 1776. Oil painting on canvas by V. Zveg, 1973. (U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph)

As we have noted in the past, 4GWAR has a warm spot in its heart for the USMC, partly because this blog was also created in November — Nov. 12, 2009 — just two days after the Corps’ birthday.

The Marines take their birthday very seriously, especially since 1921, when then-Commandant Major General John LeJeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, summarizing the history, tradition and mission of the Marine Corps and directing that the order be read to every command on every subsequent Nov. 10, the Marine Corps Birthday.

Since 1952, the Marine Corps has maintained another tradition: the cake cutting ceremony. The 20th USMC commandant, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., formalized the ceremony, stating the first piece of cake must be presented to the oldest Marine present, who passes it to the youngest Marine.

General Lejeune’s Order No. 47,is read to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Information Group during cake cutting ceremonies on November 5, 2021 at Camp Lejeune North Carolina.

Here is a link to a 13-minute 2020 video of the Marines’ 245th birthday celebration in Washington, featuring General David Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps and a 100-year-old retired colonel, who received the traditional first piece.

Veterans Day 2021.

November 11, 2011 is Veterans Day, a federal holiday in the United States. It was first proclaimed by then-President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 as Armistice Day, marking the end of the First World War on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Back then they thought it was the “War to End all Wars.” Nov. 11 has since become a day honoring all veterans of all wars as well as vets of peacetime service.

A few years after the First World War, the United States buried an unknown soldier killed on the battlefields of France in a new tomb, a monument to all the slain, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day there is always a solemn ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown (the original soldier has been joined by fellow nameless warriors from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Visitors participate in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Flower Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, Nov. 9, 2021. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser/ Arlington National Cemetery)

For the first time in nearly a century, visitors were allowed to walk on the plaza and lay flowers in front of the tomb as part of a two-day centennial event. While ceremonies are held at the tomb almost every day, this particular commemoration was mandated in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, NPR reported. It recognized the internment of the World War I Unknown Soldier and the dedication of the tomb exactly one hundred years ago, on November 11, 1921.

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SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

November 10, 2021 at 11:58 pm 1 comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 3, 2020)

Solemn Masked Men.

Military Funeral Honors with Modified Funeral Escort are Conducted for U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jesse Lewis Jr.

(U.S. Army Photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

The U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Caisson Platoon conducts military funeral honors with a modified escort for Navy Commander Jesse W. Lewis Junior at Arlington National Cemetery on June 29, 2020.

It was the first funeral service since March 26 to include a caisson, the next step in Arlington National Cemetery’s phased plan to resume greater support to military funeral honors as COVID-19 cases within the national capital region trend downward.

According to the Arlington website:

 Military funeral honors with modified escort consists of individual service branch body bearers, a firing party, an escort commander with guidon, escort, bugler, drummer, national colors and chaplain. The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment’s caisson platoon may also be requested. Additionally, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps service members with ranks O-6 [colonel] and above may receive a caparisoned horse and flag officers [generals and admirals] from all services may receive the appropriate presidential salute battery (PSB) gun salute. 

The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard also participated in the ceremony for the Navy veteran.

Military Funeral Honors with Modified Funeral Escort are Conducted for U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jesse Lewis Jr.

(U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

July 3, 2020 at 4:42 pm 1 comment

SHAKO: Memorial Day 2020

Tradition, Updated.

Flags-In 2020

(U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

A soldier assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” places flags at headstones as part of Flags-In at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on May 21, 2020.

For more than 50 years, soldiers assigned to the unit have honored the nation’s fallen military heroes by placing U.S. flags at grave sites of every service member buried at Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., just before Memorial Day weekend.

Things are a little different at Arlington this year, from the face coverings members of the “Old Guard” wear as they plant the flags to the terse message on the National Cemetery’s website:

ANC remains open only to family pass holders during the Memorial Day weekend. You must be in possession of a both a face covering and a valid family pass to enter. Access is for gravesite visitation only, no touring.

As we’ve said in the past, everything’s different in the midst of World War CV.

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SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

 

 

May 24, 2020 at 11:57 pm 2 comments

SHAKO: Veterans Day 2019

A Terrible Beauty.

In late May — on Memorial Day — America remembers the honored dead, those who gave their lives in this country’s wars since 1775.

But on Veterans Day every November, Americans honor the living who served or continue to serve in uniform. November 11 is the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I – the “War to End All Wars” in 1918. Unfortunately, history has proven that was an overly optimistic term for what turned out to be the First World War.

Veterans Day 2019 Arlington Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery, Nov. 3, 2019 (4GWAR photo copyright John M. Doyle)

A few years after that conflict, the United States buried an unknown soldier killed on the battlefields of France in a new tomb, a monument to all the slain, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day there is always a solemn ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown (the original soldier has been joined by fellow nameless warriors from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

On Sunday November  3, your 4GWAR editor joined more than 50 fellow Norwich University alumni at a much smaller ceremony in Arlington, to locate the graves of Norwich grads buried in the National Cemetery. We had the privilege of joining a small group of Norwich vets, including two serving Army officers, to do the honors among the fields of white headstones.

Veterans Day 2019 Arlington with Norwich

Norwich University alumni search the rows of gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery. (4GWAR photo copyright John M. Doyle)

Once a grave on our list was located, a small American flag and the Maroon and Gold flag of Norwich, a 200-year-old Vermont military academy, were planted in front of the headstone and a Norwich commemorative coin was placed atop it. The Army officers, a lieutenant colonel and a brigadier general saluted the fallen. Then we retrieved flags and coin and moved on to the next grave site.

Veterans Day 2019 Arlington with Norwich2

Honoring Norwich’s dead at Arlington. (4GWAR photo copyright by John M. Doyle)

Our task accomplished, we headed to the Tomb of the Unknown for a Norwich Maroon and Gold wreath laying ceremony at the tomb in the waning afternoon sunlight.

Veterans Day 2019 Honor Guard Tomb Norwich wreath

Third Infantry Regiment honor guard passes the Norwich wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown (4GWAR Photo copyright John M. Doyle)

 

 

 

 

November 11, 2019 at 11:59 pm 2 comments

SEASON’S GREETINGS: Yuletide Customs and Activities of Those in Uniform

Flying Elves

Santa, Elves jump for Operation Toy Drop 2018

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristof J. Rixmann)

Airmen dressed as Santa’s elves conduct static line jumps out of a C-130J Super Hercules during Operation Toy Drop 2018, to deliver gifts via cargo delivery system drops at Alzey drop zone in Germany, on December 13, 2018.

Singing Sergeants

USAF Band Singing Sergeants Perform at Joint Base Andrews

(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sergeant Michael Keller)

Tech Sergeants Ashley Keeks (left) and Adrienne Kling — members of the Air Force Band’s Singing Sergeants ensemble — sing Christmas carols at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on December 19, 2018.

‘Lest We Forget

27th National Wreaths Across America Day at Arlington National Cemetery

(U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

Marine Corps Major Jason Bowers lays a wreath in front of a headstone during the 27th National Wreaths Across America Day at Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia on December 15, 2018.

Here Comes Santa Claus

U.S. Indo-Pacific Forces Participate in Annual Operation Christmas Drop

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Gilmore)

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Barry A. King (left) and 1st Lieutenant Emery Gumapas make adjustments aboard a C-130J Super Hercules on its way to airdrop supplies to the island of Nama in Micronesia on December 10, 2018, during Operation Christmas Drop, a humanitarian operation and training mission for U.S., Japanese and Australian cargo plane crews.

G’Day Santa

Operation Christmas Drop 2018 is a Wrap, Until Next Year Micronesia

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Gilmore)

As noted in the photo above, American crews and aircraft aren’t the only participants in Operation Christmas Drop. Here we see Royal Australian Air Force Flight Lieutenant Simon Mason, a C-130J pilot f the 37th Squadron RAAF Base Richmond, Australia, checking the horizon on Santa 99’s way to the atoll of Kapingamarangi in the Federated States of Micronesia on December 13, 2018.

Starting with the first airdrop to Kapingamarangi 67 years ago, Operation Cargo Drop is the world’s longest running airdrop training mission, providing critical supplies to 56 Micronesian islands and affecting approximately 20,000 people across 1.8 million square nautical miles of operating area.

A Visit from St. Nicholas — and the Marines.

XMAS No. 5 USMC Sgt Reading story

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Samantha Schwoch)

Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Marcus B. Bailey reads “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” to children attending a holiday concert in New Orleans on December 9, 2018. The concert is designed to promote the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.

Toy Drop Objective

XMAS No. 7A

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Sinthia Rosario)

Captain Rizzoli Elias, company commander of the 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company in the 16th Sustainment Brigade, gives a German child a stuffed animal as part of Operation Toy Drop at Alzey, Germany on Dedcember 13, 2018. Operation Toy Drop is an annual multi-national training event designed to strengthen relations with the local community and develop interoperability among military partners.

Santa Gets a Lift.

XMAS No. 8 Coast Guard Santa

(U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter delivers Santa, his elves and gifts to the children of various remote villages in Alaska on December 12, 2018. “Santa to the Villages” was created in 1974 by the Coast Guard Spouses Association in an effort to spread holiday cheer to children throughout remote portions of Alaska.

Santa Training

XMAS No. 10 Canadians Santa

(Canadian Army photo by Corporal Genevieve Lapointe)

Alaska isn’t the only part of the Far North to be visited by Santa. He worked out with the Canadian Army to get ready for his big day, whi8ch will include climbing up to a lot of chimneys.

Pushing Parcels

XMAS No. 11 Canadians Op Parcel Push

(Photo by Second Lieutenant Natasha Tersigni, 38 Canadian Brigade Group Public Affairs)

Members of Fort Garry Horse and 38 Combat Engineer Regiment prepare Christmas hampers during their 33rd annual Exercise PARCEL PUSH last December. Canadian Army Reservists and Army cadets will be delivering Christmas hampers again this year on behalf of Winnipeg’s Christmas Cheer Board.

Snow Singers

XMAS No. 12 82nd Airborne singers

(U.S. Army photo by Sergeant Michelle U. Blesam)

Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division’s band and chorus perform holiday classics during a concert at the Crown Theatre in Fayetteville, North Carolina on December 13, 2018.

 

 

December 24, 2018 at 11:58 pm 3 comments

FRIDAY FOTO (March 23, 2018)

Snowfall, Arlington Virginia.

Spring Snow Storm 2018

(U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

We had snow in the Washington area this week. Pretty as it fell, there was enough to closes area schools and many Federal government facilities for the day, but not Arlington National Cemetery.

In Virginia, just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment’s Caisson Platoon trooped through the snows in a funeral procession on March 21, 2018.

This scene calls to mind the last lines of Irish writer James Joyce’s novel, The Dead.

The snow “lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears   of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”

Known as “The Old Guard,” the 3rd Infantry is the oldest, active duty regiment in the U.S. Army. In addition to honor guard duties at Arlington, the White House and elsewhere, the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry guard the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington.

March 23, 2018 at 1:03 am 2 comments

FRIDAY FOTO (November 12, 2016)

Veteran’s Day 2016

SD attends Veterans Day wreath laying ceremony

Defense Department photo by Army Sergeant Amber I. Smith.

President Barack Obama lays a wreath during a Veterans Day ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia Friday, November 11, 2016.

USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7)

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Carla Giglio

The USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) sails past the Statue of Liberty as it enters New York Harbor prior to Veterans Week NYC 2016.

The 1,000 Sailors and more than 100 Marines on board the amphibious assault ship articipated in New York’s Veterans Day parade Friday, November 11. The ship recently returned from the humanitarian assistance mission to Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

 

November 12, 2016 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

SHAKO: Memorial Day 2016

Assessing the Toll.

Memorial Day, a holiday that grew out of efforts to honor the dead of the Civil War — North and South — commemorates the fallen. Veteran’s Day, as the Washington Post points out, was created after World War I to honor all who served their country in war and peace.

They say Freedom has a price. The chart below shows how Americans have been paying that price for more than 200 years.

Military deaths chart

The photos below show that debt has been paid — with interest — by the living as well.

Memorial Day in Arlington National Cemetery 2015

Army photo by Rachel Larue

Brittany, left, and her four-year-old son, Christian, spend time at the grave of husband and father, Marine Corps Sergeant Christopher Jacobs, in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Christian wore his father’s cover (uniform hat) during the Memorial Day visit.

Memorial Day FistBump

Dept. of Defense  photo by Roger Wollenberg

Marine Corps veterans Eric Rodriguez, left, and Anthony McDaniel fist bump during the gold medal wheelchair basketball competition at the 2016 Invictus Games for wounded warriors in Orlando, Florida on May 12.

May 30, 2016 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (May 28, 2016)

Honor Duty.

Flags-In at Arlington National Cemetery

U.S. Army photo by Rachel Larue

Soldiers place American flags in front of headstones during “Flags In” at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia (May 26, 2016).

Every year soldiers assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” place approximately 230,000 flags before each of the cemetery’s headstones in preparation for the Memorial Day holiday.

To see more photos of the simple, somber, beautiful event, click here.

A poem,

Bivouac of the Dead

.

 

May 27, 2016 at 11:44 pm Leave a comment

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