Monday, April 18th - Monday, April 25th
We settled in at Harbor View Resort near Colonial Beach, Virginia on Monday and drove a few miles over to George Washington's birthplace (Feb.22, 1732) at Pope's Creek Plantation on the Potomac River. He spent the first three and a half years of his life there on his father's tobacco plantation, where his younger sister and brother, Betty and Samuel, were also born. In 1735 the family moved a short distance away to Little Hunting Creek Plantation, 5,000 acres later known as Mount Vernon. When his father died, he owned over 10,000 acres in Virginia and was part owner in two iron works.
View out toward the Potomac. The house burned down and was never rebuilt. They moved to Ferry Farm in 1738, which George inherited at 11 when his father died. His older step-brothers inherited Pope's Creek Plantation and Mount Vernon, which passed to George upon his step-brother's death. Many years later George's nephew inherited this place and called it Wakefield. In preparation for the bicentennial of George's birthday a local group decided to create a memorial landscape, including house, colonial kitchen, tobacco drying shed, blacksmith shop, brick walkways, garden, pastures, etc. Unfortunately, the house only represents their best guess as to what it was like and bears little resemblance to what it originally looked like. Their efforts did lead to his birthplace being designated as the first Historic Site in the National Park System in 1930.
At that time tidewater plantations in Virginia and Maryland along the Potomac, like Pope's Creek and Hunting Creek were each an international port-of-call. Ships from England unloaded the necessities colonists had ordered and loaded hogsheads of tobacco to take back.
George's wedding to Martha Custis, the wealthiest widow in Virginia, on Jan. 6, 1759.
Bumper sticker on a New Holland service truck in the parking lot.
Family cemetery, three generations of George's forebears. The first were John Washington's wife Anne and two small children in 1668. When John (George's great-grandfather) died in 1677 his estate included 8,500 acres. John was in the Virginia legislature, an officer in the militia and justice of the peace. In 1930 the Wakefield National Memorial Association constructed walls and consolidated the graves into one single casket and interred the remains in a rebuilt vault.
Beach on the Potomac on Pope's Creek Plantation.
On our way back to camp, we stopped at this monument for the birthplace of President James Monroe, born here April 28, 1758. The farm was sold following his father's death in 1783. It was a 500 acre farm adjacent to a much larger tract of his great-great-grandfather, Andrew Monroe, who came here from Scotland in 1650. It was a small middle-class working farm. Monroe served with distinction in the Revolutionary War in six battles. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Trenton and was praised by Washington for his bravery and ability. He finished the war as aide to Governor Thomas Jefferson and served in the Virginia legislature, Continental Congress, U.S. Senate, was minister to France, England and Spain, Governor of Virginia, Secretary of State, Secretary of War and President for two terms. He was immensely popular and ran unopposed his second term. His time in office was known as the era of good feeling. Wouldn't it be swell to have someone so popular now that he or she could run unopposed, save all those billions of dollars and spare us from all the commercials and squabbling?
WWII Memorial over looking the Severn River with Annapolis, Maryland on the other side. The Lords Baltimore, owners of Maryland, lived on Bloombury Square in London. Bloombury Square was part of the master plan for Annapolis when the Capitol was moved here from St. Mary's City in 1695.
Tuesday, April 19th, and the tulips around the memorial are just about done for.
Thurgood Marshall in front of Lawyer's Mall walking to the State House next door. Born 1908 grandson of a slave, first African-American Supreme Court Justice. "Equal Justice Under The Law".
The Maryland State House was built 1772 to 1779. It was the first and only State House used as the Capitol of the United States Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 13, 1784. It is the oldest Capitol in the nation still in legislative use. The Annapolis Convention Sept. 14, 1786 issued calls to the states that led to the Constitutional Convention.
Senate Chamber since 1906 topped with Tiffany skylight. They also have the original Senate Chamber set up like it was on Dec. 23, 1783 with a statue of George Washington when he resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Congress. "Spectators all wept and there was hardly a member of Congress who did not drop tears, as Washington's hand shook while he read his speech." Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris there three weeks later, making Annapolis the nation's first peacetime capitol. James McHenry, member of the Congress of Maryland's General assembly in 1784, made Lafayette and his male heirs natural born citizens during his visit. Lafayette was deeply proud of his citizenship and was buried in Paris under American soil retrieved from his 1824 tour here. He was a close friend of General Washington. Fort McHenry in Baltimore is named for James McHenry. We will be going there in a couple weeks.
House of Delegates Chamber since 1906, largest room in the State House, with a nearly 40 sq. ft. Tiffany skylight.
The Dome was rebuilt in 1785 and is the largest wooden structure of its kind in North America. The interior was nearly complete when a plasterer fell 113 feet to his death. The lightning rod at the top was constructed according to Benjamin Franklin's specifications and rises 28 feet into the air.
Old Supreme Court Room.
Leaving the State House.
We had lunch at the Federal House Pub, toured a little museum, and then walked across the street to the marina and this memorial for Alex Haley and his book, Roots. It commemorates the arrival in Annapolis of Kunta Kinte, Alex Haley's ancestor, on the slave ship Lord Ligonier in 1767. Alex Haley is sharing heritage stories with children of diverse ethnic groups.
The marina on the Severn River. The really long buildings way in the back are part of the Annapolis Naval Academy.
The house in front of St Mary's Roman Catholic Church (1858) is the home of Charles Caroll of Carollton, one of the four Maryland signers, and the only Catholic signer, of the Declaration of Independence, also the last signer to die. He created a private chapel in his home for Catholics, when public worship other than the state church was forbidden. It is one of only 15 surviving signer's birthplaces. He is the grandson of Charles Caroll the Settler, the first Attorney General of Maryland, and son of Charles Carroll of Annapolis, who both also lived in the home. His cousin, John Carroll, the Archbishop of Baltimore and first bishop in the nation, visited in 1813. George Washington dined here in 1771. The property was given to the church by four of his granddaughters in 1853 with conditions that the house, gardens and enclosure always be consecrated to religion and mass be offered once a month for the four donors and their parents and grandfather. In 1906 Charles Adam Zimmerman, long-time Naval Academy Bandmaster and St. Mary's organist composed the Navy's "Anchors Aweigh".
Walking around town. Sometimes the homes or businesses are built wall-to-wall, but sometimes they leave enough space between for a walkway. Every once in a while you see something like this, where it looks like somebody said, "Oh, that's a waste of space," and just got busy building and filling in the walkway between the buildings..
St. Anne's Parish completed in 1859 was the only church in town, except for the family chapel in the Carroll home. The town clock has been housed in the steeple since 1866. Their stained glass window of the Virgin Mary was made by Tiffany Studios and shown at the 1893 Columbian Expo in Chicago. The parish has records back to 1705 and still uses the Chapel Royal communion silver made in 1696 and engraved with the Royal Arms and sent over by King William III.
Wednesday we went to Robert E. Lee's birthplace about ten miles from our campground, Stratford Hall, home of the Lees of Virginia. Clifts (1,900 acres) was property acquired from the Nathaniel Pope family in 1717. Stratford was built in 1738 by Thomas Lee who was born in 1690 at nearby Machodoc Plantation. Thomas negotiated the Treaty of Lancaster with the Iriquois, was president of the Ohio Company, president of the Council of State and acting Governor of Virginia. He had 220 slaves plus free and indentured servants. He had 8 children. Two of his sons signed the Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee. They were the only brothers to sign the Declaration. The house is H-shaped with four chimneys in each wing, 16 total. The building on the left is the kitchen and the one on the right is the laundry. There are a few stone slave cabins and a stable, but the rest of the original buildings are gone.
Richard Henry Lee authored the Leedstown Resolutions opposing the Stamp Act of 1766 and 114 men assembled a few miles from here to sign it, including his brothers, Thomas Ludwell, Francis Lightfoot and William. Brothers Arthur and William were living in England during the Revolution and Congress made Arthur a secret agent, while William served as a commercial agent in French ports and commissioner to the courts of Berlin and Vienna. Richard Henry Lee proposed the first bill in the Virginia House of Burgesses to place such a heavy duty on the importation of slaves "as to put an end to that iniquitous and disgraceful traffic." He described Africans as fellow creatures..."created as ourselves and equally entitled to liberty and freedom by the great law of nature." However, like all the other Planters dependent on a large labor force, he remained a slave holder throughout his life.
Thomas's brother Henry lived at nearby Lee Hall at Leesylvania. Henry was the father of Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III, the Revolutionary War hero, who married his cousin and lived at her home, Stratford Hall, where their son Robert E. Lee was born. After four years Robert moved with his parents and siblings to Alexandria, Virginia. Light Horse Harry was the youngest officer in the Revolutionary War and was best known for his eulogy of George Washington, "First in war, First in peace, First in the hearts of his countrymen..." Light Horse Harry wrote his memoir of the American Revolution while in debtor's prison. He began to outline the life of his leader Nathaniel Green, but it became the first depiction of the war in the South and today remains a standard military reference. He and Thomas Jefferson were political enemies and he questioned Jefferson's actions as Governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War. Jefferson referred to the Lee family as "those insects", but John Adams said, "The Lee family produced more men of merit than any other family." I guess politics was alive and well back then, too. Henry Lee IV defended his father in his book, Observations on the Writings of Thomas Jefferson.
Family vault that is empty because everyone has been moved to somewhere else.
And just in case you doubt it, they've left it wide open, so you can peer inside.
View from the back steps out toward the cliffs overlooking the Potomac River. When the Lee Memorial Foundation bought this place in 1930 they tried several fundraising ventures to pay for the mortgage and restoration, including breeding thoroughbred race horses. Time O' War, grandson of Man O' War, was born here and was fairly successful on the track. They also had a herd of Hereford beef cattle, smoked turkeys and hams and sold several litters of Irish Setter puppies.
Landaulet made in London in 1807. Used by the Marquis de Lafayette on his visit to Albany in 1825 and used in the Philadelphia sasquicentennial in 1925. The top folds back and down. The folding steps are bolted to the frame and when folded they fit in the recesses of the door. The wheels are mounted on axles to flare out as they turn to throw up mud or dust outward and give the body more room. There is one seat for passengers inside. The dicky or rumble seat behind is for a footman. The seat in front is for the coachman and groom.
Standing on the 150' high Stratford Cliffs with a clear view to the left of the Horsehead Cliffs and the Nomini Cliffs which form a one and a half mile long series of cliffs that formed an ancient seashore from compacted sea matter 17 million years ago. This geological phenomenon can only be found in three other locations in the world, the L.A. Basin, Austria and Belgium. Ancient fossil remains of salt water crocodiles, whales, sea cows, shark-toothed porpoises, turtles, rays and sharks can be found along the shoreline. The powdery white composition is subject to land slide and closed to the public.
The landing is a narrow strip of beach between the cliffs. By 1743 Thomas Lee owned or held interest in several large vessels that sailed to England with his cargo of tobacco and returned with needed goods for the plantation. People look for shark's teeth along the beach here. I imagined that they would be hard to find in the sand, but giant white shark teeth are 7" long.
By 1759 his son, Philip, built a public wharf and a tobacco inspection station and warehouse and made it one of the most important commercial centers on the Potomac. They ground corn and wheat at their mill from 1745 to 1820 when the Lees sold Stratford. It was leased and run from 1860s to early 1900s. The CCC cleared the mill and road site in 1936. General Mills financed the rebuilding of the mill and it reopened in 1939 and is still regarded as one of the best operating mill reconstructions in the U.S.
Thursday we went back to Annapolis to tour the U.S. Naval Academy. Lt. General John Archer Lejeune (le-zhurn) attended the Naval Academy, known as the "Yard", and served 30 years in the Marine Corps including the Spanish American War and WWI. He was recognized by the French Government as a strategist and leader with the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre. He was appointed Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1920. After his second term he indicated his wish not to retire, but was relieved in 1929. He then served as superintendent at Virginia Military Academy for over 8 years retiring as a Lt. General. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors in 1942. He was described as being the "greatest of all the Leathernecks" and the "Marine's Marine."
Olympic size pool in the Lejeune Physical Education Center.
The gold footballs are one for every year that they beat the Army at the Army/Navy Game.
The Heisman Trophies won by two of their alumni, Joseph Bellino 1960 and Roger Staubach 1963.
Dahlgren Hall where midshipmen social activities are often held. The Drydock Restaurant is in here and it is a great place to see ship and aircraft memorabilia. This is a model of the Wright B-1 Flyer with skis and wheels for landing.
Side view of the Main Chapel located on a high point in the "Yard" with a sweeping view of the Severn River. Dedicated in 1908, it conducts Catholic and Protestant services which are open to the public.
The beautiful stained glass windows were designed by Tiffany and Gorham Studios.
Alter, organ pipes and dome.
John Paul Jones, one of the greatest Revolutionary War naval heroes, is enshrined in a crypt directly beneath the chapel. Born the son of an estate gardner in Scotland in 1747, he went to sea as an apprentice at the age of 13. He was a crew member on at least three slaving voyages and grew to hate the traffic in human cargo. At 21 he took charge of a ship when the captain and first mate both died of a fever. At age 26 a mutinous crew at the island of Tabago attacked him for advance wages. He killed one of the men in self defense and fled, fearing he could not get a fair trial on the island. He then added the name Jones to his original name of John Paul. He was 28 in 1776 when he raised the Grand Union flag on his flag ship and was commissioned 1st Lieutenant. Two years later he received the first gun salute from the French Navy recognizing the United States as an independent nation, the first time the stars and stripes was officially recognized. In 1781 he was knighted by King Louis XVI. In 1787 he received a medal from the U.S. Congress. He took great pride in his adopted country and his association with the U.S. Navy. In 1790 he returned to Paris where he died of kidney failure from persistent malarial attacks in 1792 and was buried in a cemetery belonging to the Royal Family. After the French Revolution the property was abandoned and eventually built upon and he was lost to history. In 1899 a search for his body began and in 1905 he was exhumed, positively identified and sent to the Naval Academy. In 1913 he was placed in the new crypt. His dedication to independence and freedom for the United States and the world and his fighting spirit gave the U.S. Navy its earliest traditions of courage, honor and victory. During his lifetime he received four decorations, a high number in the 18th century for one not of noble birth. They have never been found and copies are displayed near the crypt.
This is the monument they use for a freshman initiation ritual. The freshman are called Plebes. They grease the monument with 200 pounds of lard and put something on top. The Plebes try to climb the monument and tradition says whoever retrieves the item on top will be the first one in their class to make Admiral. So far none of the first to make it to the top has been first to become an Admiral.
Front door of the Chapel.
Walking further away,
Toward Bancroft Hall which is the largest dormitory in the United States. Tecumseh Court in the center of the U-shaped building is watched over by a statue of the Indian warrior Tecumseh and is the site of the noon meal formations for the Brigade of Midshipman, normally held every weekday at 12:05 PM.
It's quite a show as the cadets all line up in their brigades, regiments, squads, etc. and march into the dining hall in an orderly fashion while the band plays.
Anchors Aweigh was one of the songs they played.
The Rotunda and a sample midshipman room are open to the public, as well as Memorial Hall and a copy of the famous "Don't Give Up The Ship" flag.
It's hard to get all of Bancroft Hall in one picture.
This is the Officer's Club where we had a lunch buffet.
Close-up of some of the flowers in the picture below.
The Tripoli Monument is the oldest military monument in the U.S. and honors those who fought in the war against the Barbary Coast Pirates. In 1804 it was the republic's first war and President Jefferson ordered the nation's tiny naval force to the Mediterranean to protect the expanding trade of our new country against pirates who demanded ransom for safe passage of merchant ships. Young American's took brave actions against the pirates and created a permanent U.S. Navy. It's the origins of the line in the song "From the shores of Tripoli to the ..." It was carved from carrara marble in Italy in 1806. From the Washington Naval Yard it was moved to the west terrace of the National Capitol and finally, here to the Naval Academy where it has stood since 1860.
U.S. Naval Academy Museum in Preble Hall. Pair of Damascene shoes worn by women in the Middle East on ceremonial occasions around 1850. Talk about high heels, how would you like to try walking in a parade on those stilts?
March 24, 1903 George Dewey was commissioned Admiral of the Navy, a rank created especially for him in recognition of his services at Manila Bay, and which no other person has held. The uniform, hat and medals authorized June 3, 1898 for officers and men of the Navy and Marine Corps who participated in the Battle of Manila Bay. The Dewey Medal is considered to be the first campaign medal issued. Every man involved in the mission received one. Dewey was born in Montpelier, Vermont in 1837 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1858. He commanded the third ship in Farragut's fleet when they sailed up the Mississippi to take New Orleans in the Civil War. Over 30 years later he was named commander of the Asiatic Squadron, in large part due to the influence of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt. In 1898 during the Spanish American War he destroyed the entire Spanish Pacific Fleet in six hours with only one loss, making him a national hero.
Upon leaving Yokohama, half of Dewey's fleet visited Amoy, China where the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi celebrated what would be her last birthday. To mark the occasion, she gave a silver bowl to the Admiral and this set of chairs and table with inlaid mother-of-pearl to each of the ship's captains and a cloisonne vase to each officer.
Medals of Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. Naval Academy Class of 1904.
June 7,1944 the destroyer escort Chatelain and Avenger bombers from escort carrier Guadalcanal forced German sub U-505 to surface near Cape Verdes Islands. It was the first capture of an enemy warship since the War of 1812 and yielded its code books and an Enigma cipher machine. If you haven't seen the recent Benedict Cumberbatch movie about the Enigma machine, you should definitely see it. It is very good.
The museum has a whole floor with the Rogers Ship Model Collection and their own collection. This one was launched as the Expedition in 1714 and was renamed The Prince Frederick the next year in honor of King George I's 8-year-old grandson. Some people will just do anything for their grandchildren!
English Third Rate 56-Gun Ship ca.1650, one of the oldest surviving scale model ships in the world. Fifteen such ships were built. Living quarters on these ships were below deck or you just slept on a mat below among the guns when not on watch. They were often not allowed to leave the ship when in port for fear they would desert. Sometimes they were allowed to have women visit them below deck with the guns, giving rise to the saying "son-of-a-gun".
British Third Rate 70-Gun Ship, ca. 1715, designed to separate into upper and lower halves. This rare pull-apart model allows the observer an unobstructed view of the ships below deck spaces. All cabins and storerooms beneath the water line are each fashioned with remarkable precision.
U.S. Frigate Constitution, 44 Guns, launched 1797 and designed to outmatch any ship of her class in the world. Its construction, frames and knees of live oak, made her almost impervious to the enemy's shot, earning her the nickname Old Ironsides.
Large bone model, one of the most elaborate in the Naval Academy collection. Bone models were made by French P.O.W.s to occupy their time. They made lots of things out of whatever materials they could find, but especially ship models from bone. Most of the other models in the museum were dockyard models built buy men pulled off the crew that was building the ship for the potential buyer or owner. Despite the remarkable skills of these craftsmen, they were so far down the totem pole that not much information about them was recorded. However, it has recently been discovered that some of them left notes, cards or signatures inside the models.
Small bone model of a 3-decker resting inside a case that replicates a miniature stage lined with mirrors. The French P.O.W.s who made it decorated the wooden case inside and out by gluing to it thousands of pieces of straw, painstakingly arranged in geometric patterns. At least 3 dozen similar models were produced. Prisoners were encouraged in their crafts and allowed to sell them at village markets for spending money for special treats or amenities.
Huge bone model of Admiral Horatio Nelson's legendary flagship Victory, said to have taken 15 French P.O.W.s two years to build, following a resounding British triumph at Trafalgar in 1805. According to legend it was displayed atop Nelson's tomb in St. Paul's Cathedral for 27 years before being removed for repairs in 1834. In 1915 it was acquired by the famous Wall Street financier, E.F. Hutton, who brought it to the U.S.
Often confused with the P.O.W. models from the Napoleonic Era (1793-1815), this one is made of ivory including the sails and rigging. It was made by skilled artisans in Dieppe, France in the 1830s to 1840s. Dieppe was renowned for their ivory work in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Large wooden P.O.W. model that bears the name Amazon along with lovely decorative carving. French frigate ca. 1800. The rigging is authentic and very brittle.
Model ship on a paper sea. A few P.O.W. models were made to look as though they were underway at sea, though without sails. The lower hull is set down into a base board. The sea and frothy waves are painted onto a piece of paper which is glued to the board.
The HMS Rippon of 1735, a British 4th Rate 60-Gun Ship that saw action during the War of Jenkins' Ear (1739-1748). The name of the war refers to an ear severed from Robert Jenkins, captain of a British merchant ship and acknowledged smuggler, following a boarding of his ship by Spanish coast guards in 1731, 8 years earlier. The severed ear was subsequently exhibited before the British Parliament.
Duke 1777 British 2nd Rate 90/98-Gun Ship saw action against the French in the Battle of Ushant, but its finest moment was 4 years later at the Battle of the Saintes. The captain ordered her to cut through the French fleet, thereby saving British interests in the Caribbean at the end of the American Revolution. Made by a private model maker, rather than by a shipwright on the King's payroll.
The British 3rd Rate 74-Gun Ship two decker was an enormously successful blend of firepower and speed. The English built nearly 200 between 1756 and 1815. They constituted the backbone of the Royal Navy during the half century when British squadrons established a record of victory unparalleled in naval history. The construction of just one ship required more than 200 oak trees and 200 elms, all at least a century old. This one was also made by a commercial modeler.
The 1727 and 1728 British 6th Rate 20-Gun Ship was the Royal Navy's standard small cruiser of the period. All guns were on the upper deck with small ports below for sweeps, or long oars, that could maneuver the ship even in calm water. The masts and most of the very fragile rigging are original, almost 300 years old.
The Princess Royal of 1773, a British 2nd Rate 90-Gun Ship had three decks and was much costlier and far less maneuverable, yet only modestly more powerful than the 70-Gun two decker.
The 1725 British 3rd Rate 70-Gun Ships were the most reliable and cost effective line-of-battle warships from the 1660s to mid-18th century.
The Phoenix, a British 5th Rate 36-Gun Ship, 18-pounder frigate launched 1783. She won lasting fame when she captured the more heavily armed, French frigate Didon in 1805 after a classic ship to ship duel that lasted almost four hours.
English Fleet Admirals Barge ca. 1690 to 1700 used during King William's War (1689-1697). Far larger and more opulent than previous oared vessels use to ferry flag officers to and from ships under their command. The delicate "dolphin" cradles that support it are original, as are all but five of the crewmen. The Admiral and guests would have been seated in the stern seats just forward of the coxswain.
In its original state, this 1655 English 4th Rate 56-Gun Ship was one of the oldest English dockyard models in the world. In the 1920s the hull was crumbled to dust due to extensive worm damage. The original carvings were transferred to a new model with the masts and rigging added.
The Frigate L'Hermoine, launched in 1779, departed Rochefort on March 20, 1780 with the Marquis de Lafayette aboard and arrived in Boston April 27th. Lafayette reported to General Rochambeau at Newport in July, eventually continuing south to command troops in Maryland and Virginia and concluding in the campaign against Yorktown in October of 1781.
This French 118-Gun Ship, was built at Rochefort in 1808. It was originally named Marengo and renamed twice, until 1837 when it was finally named Ville de Paris.
Sovereign of the Seas was an English 1st Rate 100-Gun Ship in 1657. It was the first three decker, 100-Gun Ship ever built. Not a dockside model, it was made from 1918 to 1920. Her purpose was to demonstrate the might and majesty of King Charles I, who despite howls of protest from all quarters, spared no expense in her construction and spectacular decoration. I have been to the spot where they chopped off his head. It just doesn't pay to get your subjects riled up. You'll just end up with no subjects, or no head, or both!
Very nice faculty housing on the campus.
The Navy mascot has been the goat since 1890 when on a march from the ferry station at Highland Falls up the steep hill to West Point to play the first Army/Navy football game, the Naval cadets saw a goat outside the noncom's houses at West Point, and commandeered "Billy" for their mascot.
Walking across the Severn River back to our car in the Maritime Republic of Eastport. They have unofficially declared their independence from Annapolis and sport yellow flags with the motto "We like it like that", started in 1998 to offset the potential loss of business when the bridge was temporarily closed. Right across the road from these sailboats is where Lafayette and his 1,200 light infantrymen camped enroute to the decisive battle at Yorktown. They arrived in Annapolis by a flotilla of Maryland ships.
Look at the pollen just floating on the water. No wonder I have watery, itchy eyes and I am sneezing all the time.
A very descriptive name. How many names can you think of for a porta-potty? In Iowa they call them a kaibo. I had never heard that before I did the RAGBRAI bike ride. We took Friday and Saturday off and went back to D.C. on Sunday.
This is the Air Force Memorial just up the hill from the Pentagon. The Missing Man Formation: A final Salute to a Fallen Comrade. "Tell them that we gave our todays for their tomorrows." Inscription from the Allied Cemetery, North Assam, India
Panels on each end of the plaza with quotes and such.
Next we went to the nearby Pentagon to see the 911 Memorial. It looks like a bunch of plane wings laid out in rows by the birth year of the passengers.
Each one has its own little pool of water underneath and a victim's name engraved on the end of the bench.
The Netherlands Carillon was dedicated May 5, 1950 for the 15th anniversary of the liberation of The Netherlands. "From the people of The Netherlands to the people of the United States in gratitude for their assistance during and after WWII." Thousands of U.S. soldiers are buried at Margraten, the U.S. Military Cemetery in the south of The Netherlands.
On the morning of Feb. 23, 1945, the fifth day of the Battle of Iwo Jima, a 40-man Marine combat patrol ascended the rocky slopes of Mt. Suribachi, a 550' extinct volcano, to seize and occupy the crest and raise a small American flag. Shortly after the raising, another patrol was sent to raise a larger flag. The Associated Press photographer, Joe Rosenthal, captured the moment on film. "Uncommon valor was a common virtue." At the Battle of Iwo Jima (Feb. 19-Mar. 26) over 70,000 troops (mostly Marines) engaged over 21,000 Japanese defenders. Nearly 20,000 Marines and Sailors were wounded and almost 7,000 were killed. Only 1,100 Japanese troops survived. The monument was dedicated by President Eisenhower on Nov.10, 1954. It cost $850,000 all of which was donated by Marines, Naval Service members, and their families. It is a 32' high bronze figure erecting a 60' flag pole. It is burnished in gold on Swedish granite with the names and dates of the principle Marine Corps engagements since the founding of the Marine Corps in 1775.
Arlington House was originally the 1,100 acre private estate of the Custis family. Robert E. Lee had married his distant cousin Mary Custis, great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, and they lived at Arlington. He was very proud of being part of the illustrious Washington/Custis legacy. He found inspiration in his new family and carried the same camp chest in the Mexican American War that was used by George Washington during the Revolutionary War. He also carried his father-in-law's watch and passed it on to his son. At the beginning of the Civil War, Lee resigned his commission with the U.S. Army and they abandoned Arlington, knowing the Union would take over this prime spot overlooking the Capitol. On Dec. 29, 1862, two days before Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Lee had returned to free the Arlington slaves as directed by the will of his father-in-law, George Washington Parke Custis, grandson of George and Martha Washington. On Dec. 4, 1863 the U.S. Army opened Freedman's Village on part of one of the hills below Arlington House to house freed slaves. The village had hospitals, churches, an old age home and schools for children and adults. Most were buried in a cemetery outside the boundaries of the estate, but some 3,800 freed slaves from other locations were interred in what is now section 27 of Arlington National Cemetery. United States Colored Troops were buried in section 23. The dead from three years of war had filled all the burial space in the area. In 1864 President Lincoln charged General Montgomery Miegs with locating a site for a new National Cemetery. Meigs had worked under Lee at one time and even visited his home here, but he could not forgive him for joining the Confederacy.
So on June 15, 1864 he ordered the 200 acres surrounding the mansion be set aside as a cemetery and personally supervised the burial and placement of 22 headstones around Mrs. Lee's flower garden, ensuring that Lee would never return. 2,600 soldiers were buried here by the end of 1864. By the end of the war 17,000 graves surrounded Arlington House, now the Robert E. Lee Memorial.
The National Park gives free tours of the house. This scene in the house portrays the wedding of Robert E. Lee and Mary Custis. John Parke Custis, son of Martha Washington by her first husband, bought the Arlington property in 1778 and died in 1781, leaving it to his son, George Washington Parke Custis, who was raised at Mount Vernon by his grandmother and step-grandfather, Martha and George. Between 1802 and 1818 George Custis built Arlington in honor of his step-grandfather. His daughter, Mary, was born at Arlington in 1809, married Lee here in 1831 and lived here until 1861 when the Civil War started. In 1882 the Supreme Court upheld the claim of their son, George Washington Custis Lee, and he sold the grave-encumbered property to the U.S. for $150,000. Arlington House became a memorial to Lee in 1925.
The Eternal Flame at President Kennedy's grave site. The site includes two of his four children, a stillborn daughter and Patrick, his widow, Jacquelin Kennedy Onassis, a memorial to his brother Joseph P. killed in WWII and the graves of his brothers, Senator Robert F. Kennedy assassinated in 1968 and Senator Edward M. who met the eligibility requirements because of military and political service to the nation.
There is a simple cross and plaque like this for both Teddy and Bobby.
"The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to the endeavor, will light our country and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world." JFK
The tomb of Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant on the lawn in front of Arlington House overlooking the city he designed. He was a French engineer who came to fight in the Revolutionary War. When he heard they were going to build a Capitol City in 1791, he wrote to President Washington and asked if he would give him the commission to plan the city. JFK toured Arlington House in March of 1963. Admiring this view of Washington from the front lawn here, he said, "I could stay here forever." And so he has. His grave is on a straight line between the house and the Lincoln Memorial across the Potomac.
Dedicated in 1914, New Jersey exhumed their most distinguished soldier, Philip Kearny and re-interred him at Arlington with this equestrian monument, one of only two equestrian monuments in the cemetery. Kearny's father was founder of the New York Stock Exchange and died when he was young. He was raised by his grandfather who was the last Royal Recorder in New York City and left him a fortune worth over $1 million. He studied cavalry tactics in France and participated in several combat missions with the Chausseurs d'Afrique in Algiers, where he learned his style of riding into battle with a sword in his right hand, a pistol in his left and the reins in his teeth. His fearless character in battle earned him the nickname of Kearny le Magnifique by his French comrades. He fought in the Mexican American War and some Indian skirmishes and fell in love with a woman he could not marry because his wife would not divorce him. He was injured when his horse fell through a rotten bridge and his mistress came to live with him and care for him at his new mansion, Belle Grove, overlooking the Passaic River. The place is now called Kearny, New Jersey and was a short distance from his old family manor. His wife finally granted the divorce and they moved to Paris and got married. He rejoined the Chausseurs, fighting the Austrian forces in Italy and later with Napoleon III's Imperial Guard, penetrated the Austrian center and captured the key point of the battle. He was awarded the French Legion d' Honneur, the first U.S. citizen thus honored. During the Civil War he returned and was appointed Brigadier General of the First New Jersey Brigade. He led the 3rd Division of III Corps in the Battles of Williamsburg and Fair Oaks. At Williamsburg he led his troops shouting,"I'm a one-armed Jersey son-of-a-gun, follow me!" He was noted for urging his troops forward by declaring, "Don't worry, men, they'll all be firing at me!" He disliked General McClellan whose orders (especially those to fall back) he frequently ignored. After victory at the Battle of Malvern Hill, McClellan ordered a withdrawal, and Kearny wrote: "I, Philip Kearny, an old soldier, enter my solemn protest against this order! We ought instead of retreating should follow up the enemy and take Richmond. And in full view of all responsible for such declaration, I say to you all, such an order can only be prompted by cowardice or treason." He was killed at the Battle of Chantilly while retreating from the disastrous Second Battle of Bull Run. While investigating a gap in the Union line, he responded to the warnings of a subordinate, "The Rebel bullet that can kill me has not yet been molded." Encountering Confederate troops, he ignored their demand to surrender and while trying to escape on horseback, a half dozen musket shots fired, killing him instantly. Confederate General A.P. Hill exclaimed, "You've killed Phil Kearny, he deserved a better fate than to die in the mud." General Lee sent his body back to the Union forces with a condolence note. At the time there were rumors in Washington that President Lincoln was contemplating replacing McClellan with Kearny the Magnificent. There are multiple statues of him in different cities. Fort Kearny was part of a ring of forts around D.C. Fort Phil Kearny in Wyoming only existed two years. General Philip Kearny Public School in Philadelphia was named for him in 1921. During WWII the U.S. Navy named a Liberty Ship the SS Philip Kearny. Kearny County, Kansas is named for him and the Kearny Medal and Kearny Cross were given out to officers for bravery during the Civil War.
Tomb of the Unknowns of the Civil War. This stone marks the burial of 2,111 unidentified Union soldiers in 1866, gathered from the fields of Bull Run and the route to the Rappahannock River. The first Decoration Day ceremony was held in 1868. Later renamed Memorial Day, it became a federal holiday in 1971. There is also a very large memorial to the Unknowns of the Confederacy given by the Daughters of the Confederacy and dedicated in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson.
The historic wood and brick trellis arena was constructed in 1873 as the cemetery's main public meeting space. It was unnamed and used until the completion of the Memorial Amphitheater in 1920. From then on, it was referred to as the Old Amphitheater until 2014, when it was named the James R. Tanner Amphitheater in honor of a disabled American Civil War veteran who was an influential veteran's organization leader.
Approaching the Memorial Amphitheater and the Tomb of the Unknowns. You can see four buses behind the trees in this picture. There were six there just before I snapped this picture.
Arlington Memorial Amphitheater completed in 1920 in conjunction with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The names of the Civil War battles are engraved around the top, outside circle.
The Tomb of the Unknowns is directly behind the stage.
We watched the changing of the guard, which takes place every half hour in the warmer months and every hour in the winter months and every two hours when the cemetery is closed at night. It was originally guarded by volunteers to keep people from picnicking on the flat slab with the great view! The Tomb Sentinel guards the Tomb of the Unknowns around the clock every day since July 2, 1937. They carry M-14 rifles affixed to ceremonial rifle stocks hand-made by the Tomb Sentinels. They wear no rank insignia so as not to outrank the unknowns. The tomb guard paces 21 steps, faces the tomb, turns, clicks heels, shifts rifle to other shoulder and repeats. Since 1948 they have done a "Flags In" tradition where, in advance of Memorial Day, they place American flags before the gravestones and niches of all the fallen. A WWI soldier is buried under the tomb. The three white slabs in the floor from left to right mark the graves of a soldier from WWII, Vietnam and Korea. The remains of the Vietnam soldier were identified in 1998 through DNA. He was exhumed and moved to a cemetery closer to home. It remains empty "honoring and keeping the faith with America's missing service members." All of the unknowns are presented with a Medal of Honor by the President who presides over the funeral.
Lots of veterans in wheel chairs on both sides watching.
Women's Memorial with videos, uniforms, stories, pictures, medals, etc. inside.
The relief on this stone depicts the Surrender of the Apaches under Geronimo to General Crook in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico in 1883.
They actually have a little park down in the valley here, so you can take a break from hiking up and down all the hills. The cemetery covers 600 acres. Every day about 150 cemetery employees and ceremonial bands and units of Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard honor through burial an average of 27 to 30 veterans and their family members, over 7,000 each year.
Beginning in 1873 all U.S. Civil War veterans were entitled to a plot and headstone at no cost. By the 1880s regulations forbade civilians living on military installations. Needing more burial space the government began evicting civilian residents from Freedman's Village offering meager compensation. In 1920 the War Department offered all honorably discharged veterans burial at government expense in any one of the system of National Cemeteries. JFK's funeral in 1963 resulted in a rapid increase in the number of requests for burial at Arlington. Eligibility was first limited in 1967. In 1977 in-ground burial was further limited. A Columbarium was opened in 1980.
Modern U.S, military funerals include a three-volley salute, the bugle call of "Taps" and the folding of the U.S. Flag. The Department of Defense policy authorizes full military honors, a band, one escort platoon and a horse-drawn caisson for officers and high ranking noncommissioned officers. "Taps" was written by Brigadier General Daniel A. Butterfield in July of 1862 at Berkeley Plantation, Harrison's Landing, Virginia, also known as "Butterfield's Lullaby".
The cemetery has an average of 8,000 visitors daily, over three million annually. Millions of others visit digitally through their website, social media and ANC Explorer on smart phone, or my blog.
Some of the sites you don't really think about and that we did not see were memorials or graves for the Iran hostage rescue attempt in 1980, Beirut barracks bombing in 1983, Pan-Am 103/Lockerbie bombing in 1988, Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003 and the 911 terrorist attack victims.
The American Cherry trees were just dropping pink snow all over the ground.