I was on a mission today to capture a few of the photos of gravestones as requested by friends, family or interested parties. It was the end of the mission day when I arrived at ANC after trying to meet with a local card shop who originally had expressed interest in carrying a selection of my greeting cards / notecards. I was attempting to show off the new calendars that are being developed. But I digress.
Even after all these years of traversing the hallowed grounds of the United States’ shrine to it’s military heroes, I still need to get an orientation at times when I’m heading into a Section of Arlington National Cemetery that I rarely frequent. My first direction was to head to Section 3, a very familiar place since that’s where I spend time with the Presidential Salute Battery when they execute their missions. When I saw one of the caisson teams slowly making their way back through the cemetery to the stables on Fort Myer, I decided “to roll” along with them. The soldiers looked a bit tired, since their day began by showing up at 4:00 AM at the stables to go through their preparation for their four-plus missions that they probably participated in during the day. (They spend their entire day in the cemetery…)
I clicked off a few photos as I followed them up through the McClellan Gate (one of the original entrances to Arlington National Cemetery) as they reached the intersection, the team and the section sergeant turned left towards the Tomb of the Unknowns…
The warm autumn sun, shone brightly this day as the sunbeams broke their way through the overhead trees. One of the last final honors of the day was still in progress as I headed along the road in front of the Tomb of the Unknowns. I had the pleasure of spending a bit of time with one of the ANC security guards as I waited for the ceremony to conclude.
Signs of the change of season were evident and the harbinger trees were already turning their fiery colors. I headed up the road that borders Section 3 and the Tomb of the Unknown and the sun dancing among the crimson leaves of a maple caught my eye.
After my Section 3 work was complete, I traversed to the opposite side of the cemetery and headed to Section 30 (The original layout of Arlington National Cemetery followed no rhyme or reason as they assigned the numbers to the sections. Some layout within the sections are completely confusing to me also!)
When I reached Section 30, I decided to “take the walk” and paid my respects to MG G.M. Barnes, the visionary who’s forward thinking has led to many of the things we take for granted today. I’ve called the man “The Father of Modern Computers“, since he was instrumental in funding the ENIAC – the first computer (Pennsylvania University claims its theirs, but without the funding from the US Army, they would have had NADA!) General Barnes was the head of research and development within Ordnance of the US Army during WW II. Another distinction is that he is the “Father of the M5 Guns” – the artillery that the Presidential Salute Battery uses to fire salutes to the President, Heads of State/Countries, and salutes for wreath layings and final honors of Flag officers of the US Army, US Coast Guard, US Navy and US Marines.
The 3d wonder that I absorbed as I headed to the last photo of the day was a rare blooming of crocuses (they normally bloom in the Spring!) in front of a US Army’s CWO’s resting place.
Why don’t you explore more of my work in the Gallery? It has many more photographs of Arlington National Cemetery and a whole lot more, such as the US Army’s Golden Knights – the Parachute Team which are the Army’s “Ambassadors from the Sky” … the flowered beauty from Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and other explorations.GHTime Code(s):
Tags: 3d Infantry Regiment, Arlington National Cemetery, Caisson Platoon, Find A Grave, Fort Myer, G M Barnes, Golden Knights, Guns Platoon, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Presidential Salute Battery, The Old Guard, Tomb of the Unknowns, US Army, US ARMY GOLDEN KNIGHTS, Washington DC