Friday, September 19, 2014

A Day Well Spent.

It was a nice day on Wednesday, and business brought me downtown Washington DC and left me with time to kill--paid time--so I went across the river to pay a visit to a man who was a friend, real or on-line, to many of us.
I haven't been over since they placed the marker, but it looks ok. For anyone else planning to visit Arlington National Cemetery, Ed Rasimus can be found in Section 55, plot 3809.

And yeah, that's a nickel on the grass that *someone* threw there.

Ed's got a few good neighbors, too.

On January 9, 1945, Then-Major Curtin Reinhardt flew the first prototype of the Boeing C-97 Stratofrighter from Seattle, WA to Washington, DC is just 6 hours, 4 minutes with 20,000lbs of cargo aboard. At the time, this was a most impressive aviation accomplishment.

Robert Bullin. He was UDT (Underwater Demolitions Team), a precursor of the Navy SEALS. This guy clearly had a set of brass ones because theses guys were bad-ass. And after leaving the Navy, he spent the next 20 years as a Deputy with the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department in Virginia.

Rangers lead the way indeed.

And not too far away, in section 60, there's another name known to many in military and flying circles.
John "Forty Second" Boyd, a fighter pilot/engineer turned strategist who revolutionized the way that both aerial combat and ground war are fought.

And yeah, that's another nickel on the grass.

Leaving that area, enroute to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I ran into a traffic jam of sorts.
I didn't mind waiting for this one. Whoever he was, he earned it.

Then I took my place on the marble steps across from The Tomb, and watched the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

The ceremony never gets old, no matter how many times that you see it. The precision of their movements, the impeccable uniforms and the solemnity all come together perfectly to create a moment that never ends.

After watching the Changing of the Guard, I walked over to visit America's most-decorated World War Two.

Audie Murphy was awarded every medal for valor that our country gave out, plus several from other countries. He also starred in 44 movies post-war and bred and raised quarter horses, all while suffering from what is known today as PTSD, but back then,few knew what it was. He fought on behalf of returning Korean Warand Vietnam vets to get the government to fund studies into this syndrome and to get health care benefits for vets to treat it. He died in a plane crash in Virginia in 1971 when the non-instrument-rated pilot flew into fog and crashed into the mountains just west of Roanoke, Virginia. He was 45.

Leaving there, I saw two other markers side-by-side. One has to wonder if these two Marines knew each other. I'd personally think so, as the Corps. is a relatively small community, and it's career officer cadre even more so.
Three wars together? They had to have known each other. You can't help but ponder such things as you walk through this place.

Sergeant First Class Lawrence Joel, a 27-year vet who served in both Korea and Vietnam. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for selfless gallantry as a medic in Vietnam, treating his comrades during a 20-hour firefight despite being shot twice himself.
Willard D. Miller. Then a Seaman in the US Navy, assigned to the Gunboat Nashville, he was awarded this medal for his role in cutting an underwater telegraph cable under heavy fire off Cuba. His brother, Herbert Miller, was also awarded the Medal of Honor for the same operation.

Also noteworthy is that we still had veterans of the war with Spain still living in 1959.

Or 1960.


  1. Yep, I'd agree. That was a day well spent!

  2. My great uncle Emil was a veteran of the Spanish American war. He died in 1972 at the age of 92. He was also a retired NYC cop as was my father.

  3. I haven't been to Arlington since '69. Really need to get back there someday, but hopefully not yet as a permanent "resident".

  4. Anonymous10:13 AM

    You always make me misty with such photos. (and angry to remember such tools as the Commander-in-Chief, who doesn't respect either the dead, nor the living, in service to this Nation).
    Now I'm on another list!

  5. Never been to Arlington, but I've been to couple of others, like Gettysburg. That's why I told THE Wife that when my time comes, send me to the nearest one that has an opening. At least that way I KNOW that I'll be surrounded by GREAT Neighbors.

  6. Thanks for the reminder, I need to go pay my respects to Ras.

  7. Anonymous12:58 PM

    Thank-you for sharing these stories and pictures