Category Archives: Patriotic

And thus began one of humanity’s greatest road trips.

It was December 11, 1972, 45 years ago to the day. Astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt had just stepped out of the lunar lander. And thus began one of humanity’s greatest road trips.

Sure, the definition of a “road trip” is a bit vague, but when you’re thousands of miles from Earth and the nearest professional mechanic, the series of trips the crew of Apollo 17 made in the Lunar Rover has to qualify as one. Especially when you consider that they drove more than 22 miles in the thing, a trip which took four hours and 26 minutes.

Read the rest here at Jalopnik

Pearl Harbor

Flag at half mast

My personal thanks for all of those who served, lived and died.

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John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917–November 22, 1963)

The assassination of John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, took place on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, USA at 12:30 p.m. CST (18:30 UTC). John F. Kennedy was fatally wounded by gunshots while riding with his wife Jacqueline in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee of the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza, according to the conclusions of multiple government investigations, including the ten-month investigation of the Warren Commission of 1963-4 and the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) of 1976-9. This conclusion initially met with widespread support among the American public, but polls, since the original 1966 Gallup poll, show a majority of the public hold beliefs contrary to these findings. The assassination is still the subject of widespread speculation and has spawned numerous conspiracy theories (even the HSCA, based on disputed acoustical evidence, concluded that Oswald may have had unspecified co-conspirators), though these theories have not generally been accepted by mainstream historians and no single compelling alternative theory has emerged.

Happy Birthday, ISS

On November 20, 1998, the first segment of the ISS, the Zarya FGB, was launched into orbit on a Russian Proton rocket, and was followed two weeks later by the first of three ‘node’ modules, Unity, launched aboard STS-88.

Wikipedia Link

Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In just 272 words, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and win, the Civil War.

The Battle of Gettysburg, fought some four months earlier, was the single bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Over the course of three days, more than 45,000 men were killed, injured, captured or went missing. The battle also proved to be the turning point of the war: General Robert E. Lee’s defeat and retreat from Gettysburg marked the last Confederate invasion of Northern territory and the beginning of the Southern army’s ultimate decline.

Charged by Pennsylvania’s governor, Andrew Curtin, to care for the Gettysburg dead, an attorney named David Wills bought 17 acres of pasture to turn into a cemetery for the more than 7,500 who fell in battle. Wills invited Edward Everett, one of the most famous orators of the day, to deliver a speech at the cemetery’s dedication. Almost as an afterthought, Wills also sent a letter to Lincoln—just two weeks before the ceremony—requesting “a few appropriate remarks” to consecrate the grounds.

At the dedication, the crowd listened for two hours to Everett before Lincoln spoke. Lincoln’s address lasted just two or three minutes. The speech reflected his redefined belief that the Civil War was not just a fight to save the Union, but a struggle for freedom and equality for all, an idea Lincoln had not championed in the years leading up to the war. This was his stirring conclusion: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Reception of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was initially mixed, divided strictly along partisan lines. Nevertheless, the “little speech,” as he later called it, is thought by many today to be the most eloquent articulation of the democratic vision ever written.

Veteran

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

Veteran’s Day

Veteran's Day

Abraham Lincoln

“‘Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

Anniversary of the sinking of the USS Johnston

USS Johnston (DD-557)

USS Johnston (DD-557) was a World War II-era Fletcher-class destroyer in the service of the United States Navy. She was the first Navy ship named after Lieutenant John V. Johnston. The ship was most famous for its bold action in the Battle off Samar. The small “tincan” destroyer armed with nothing larger than 5 inch (127mm) guns and torpedoes would lead the attack of a handful of light ships which had inadvertently been left unprotected in the path of a massive Japanese fleet led by battleships and cruisers. The sacrifices of Johnston and her little escort carrier task unit “Taffy 3” helped stop Admiral Kurita’s powerful Center Force from attacking vulnerable U.S. landing forces, and inflicted greater losses than they suffered.

Wikipedia Link

Alejandro Villanueva is a KICK ASS Steeler!

Alejandro Villanueva was the only Steelers player to appear outside the tunnel during the national anthem at Soldier Field on Sunday (9/24/17).

Here, here Alejandro!  I tip my figurative hat to you.  You are AWESOME!  Thanks for having a pair and doing the right thing!

The national anthem is not a time for a protest, of ANYTHING!  You are making a mockery of one of the things that allows you knuckleheads to make stupid money for playing a game… a GAME.

Somebody b!tch-slap the idiot that started this (no names mentioned)!

 

September 11

Tribute in LightClick for larger image

September 11, 2001

Please observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. (1246 GMT) to mark the moment when American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, at 9:03 a.m. (1303 GMT) when United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, 9:37 (1337 GMT) when American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon,  at  9:59 a.m. (1359 GMT)  when the South Tower Collapses, at 10:03 (1403 GMT) when United Airlines Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and finally at 10:29 a.m. (1429 GMT) when the North Tower Collapses.

United States nicknamed ‘Uncle Sam’

On September 7, 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812. Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.

In the late 1860s and 1870s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) began popularizing the image of Uncle Sam. Nast continued to evolve the image, eventually giving Sam the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character today. The German-born Nast was also credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as well as coming up with the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic Party and the elephant as a symbol for the Republicans. Nast also famously lampooned the corruption of New York City’s Tammany Hall in his editorial cartoons and was, in part, responsible for the downfall of Tammany leader William Tweed.

Perhaps the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960). In Flagg’s version, Uncle Sam wears a tall top hat and blue jacket and is pointing straight ahead at the viewer. During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words “I Want You For The U.S. Army” was used as a recruiting poster. The image, which became immensely popular, was first used on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly in July 1916 with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” The poster was widely distributed and has subsequently been re-used numerous times with different captions.

In September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam.” Wilson died at age 88 in 1854, and was buried next to his wife Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, the town that calls itself “The Home of Uncle Sam.”

Once in a lifetime footage…

Here’s footage you’ll see only once in a lifetime. Just imagine being there to witness it! Tough times, tough people!

The sailor was 23 year old Loyce Edward Deen, an Aviation Machinist Mate (Gunner) 2nd Class enlistee from Altus, Oklahoma who served in VT-15 squadron assigned to the carrier USS Essex. Loyce was a remarkable young man. Click HERE for his story.
 
 
Here’s a sea burial you may not have read about: Loyce Edward Deen, an Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class, USNR, was a gunner on a TBM Avenger. On November 5, 1944, Deen’s squadron participated in a raid on Manila where his plane was hit multiple times by anti-aircraft fire while attacking a Japanese cruiser. Deen was killed.

 
 
The Avenger’s pilot, Lt. Robert Cosgrove, managed to return to his carrier, the USS Essex. Both Deen and the plane had been shot up so badly that it was decided to leave him in the plane.
 
It is the only time in U.S. Navy history (and probably U.S. military history) that an aviator was buried in his aircraft after being killed in action.
 
 For the video of the funeral  click  http://loyceedeen.webstarts.com/uploads/GoingHome.mp4

Anniversary of STS-135 landing

Space shuttle Atlantis lands for the STS-135 mission marking the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Time of landing was 5:57 a.m. (EDT) on July 21, 2011.

The “just at dawn” landing was one of the most memorable landings ever, as shown in this picture:

STS-135 Landing

 

Armstrong walks on the moon

At 10:56 p.m. EDT July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.

The American effort to send astronauts to the moon has its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy’s bold proposal.

In 1966, after five years of work by an international team of scientists and engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission, testing the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and spacecraft combination. Then, on January 27, 1967, tragedy struck at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when a fire broke out during a manned launch-pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire.

Despite the setback, NASA and its thousands of employees forged ahead, and in October 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, orbited Earth and successfully tested many of the sophisticated systems needed to conduct a moon journey and landing. In December of the same year, Apollo 8 took three astronauts to the dark side of the moon and back, and in March 1969 Apollo 9 tested the lunar module for the first time while in Earth orbit. Then in May, the three astronauts of Apollo 10 took the first complete Apollo spacecraft around the moon in a dry run for the scheduled July landing mission.

At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins aboard. Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission. After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained. Two hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the lunar surface, and at 4:18 p.m. the craft touched down on the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, a famous message: “The Eagle has landed.”

At 10:39 p.m., five hours ahead of the original schedule, Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module. As he made his way down the lunar module’s ladder, a television camera attached to the craft recorded his progress and beamed the signal back to Earth, where hundreds of millions watched in great anticipation. At 10:56 p.m., Armstrong spoke his famous quote, which he later contended was slightly garbled by his microphone and meant to be “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He then planted his left foot on the gray, powdery surface, took a cautious step forward, and humanity had walked on the moon.

“Buzz” Aldrin joined him on the moon’s surface at 11:11 p.m., and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests, and spoke with President Richard M. Nixon via Houston. By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon–July 1969 A.D–We came in peace for all mankind.”

At 5:35 p.m., Armstrong and Aldrin successfully docked and rejoined Collins, and at 12:56 a.m. on July 22 Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:51 p.m. on July 24.

There would be five more successful lunar landing missions, and one unplanned lunar swing-by, Apollo 13. The last men to walk on the moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972. The Apollo program was a costly and labor intensive endeavor, involving an estimated 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists, and costing $24 billion (close to $100 billion in today’s dollars). The expense was justified by Kennedy’s 1961 mandate to beat the Soviets to the moon, and after the feat was accomplished ongoing missions lost their viability.

“The Eagle has landed.” Remembering Apollo 11: July 20, 1969

 

Apollo 11

Left to right: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, the crew of Apollo 11. Photo: NASA.

Apollo 11 Insignia

On this day in 1969, humans walked on the moon for the first time. The Apollo 11 spaceflight brought Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC.

Michael Collins, the mission’s third member, remained in lunar orbit. All three men returned safely to Earth after an 8-day mission that began with a Saturn V rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida on July 16.

This was the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program, which ran from 1963 to 1972 and included 6 missions that landed on the moon. These were the first and last times human beings set foot on another world.

NASA has a collection of restored HD videos well worth watching on this historic day.

Anniversary of STS-135 launch

Space shuttle Atlantis launches for the STS-135 mission to the International Space Station in the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff was at 11:29 a.m. (EDT) on July 8, 2011. Astronauts Chris Ferguson, STS-135 commander; Doug Hurley, pilot; Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim, both mission specialists, were on board.

STS-135 launch

 

Happy 4th of July!

4th of July

Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes

During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.

With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after the first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, and in 1949 Congress officially designated June 14 as Flag Day, a national day of observance.

D-Day

D DayJune 6, 1944
Flag at Half Mast